Fulminant invasive aspergillosis of the mediastinum in an immunocompetent host: a case report
1 Department of Internal Medicine, St Mary Mercy Hospital, Livonia, MI, USA
2 Department of Internal Medicine, Mount Auburn Hospital (Harvard Medical School), Cambridge, MA, USA
3 Fatima Jinnah Medical College, Lahore, Pakistan
4 Department of Infectious Diseases, Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan
Journal of Medical Case Reports 2012, 6:311 doi:10.1186/1752-1947-6-311Published: 18 September 2012
Invasive aspergillosis is a serious complication in immunocompromised patients. It is an opportunistic disease, which predominantly occurs in the lungs, although dissemination to virtually any organ is possible. Invasive aspergillosis in an immunocompetent patient with extension to the mediastinum has rarely been reported. Here, we present the case of a patient with no apparent immunodeficiency state, who presented with Aspergillus endocarditis and fulminant invasive aspergillosis with extensive involvement of the mediastinal structures, which ultimately was responsible for her death. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first reported case in the literature on fulminant invasive mediastinal aspergillosis with extension to the pulmonary vasculature and concomitant Aspergillus endocarditis in an apparently immunocompetent patient without pre-existing lung disease.
Our patient was a previously healthy 47-year-old Asian woman, who presented to our emergency room with severe progressive shortness of breath of one month’s duration, associated with orthopnea and unstable vital signs.
Invasive aspergillosis has been described in the presence of pulmonary disease, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, and one case has been reported in a patient without preexistent disease, but none of these have been fatal. Our case is therefore the first reported case of its kind. Our case shows that fulminant aspergillosis can occur in an immunocompetent host and can be fatal. We conclude that invasive aspergillosis should not be excluded from the differential diagnosis on the basis of immunocompetency.