How is aspergillosis diagnosed?

Your doctor will probably ask you about your medical history, including the type and duration of your symptoms and whether you have a cough or a fever. It may be difficult to diagnose the condition, because symptoms may resemble those of other diseases.

Some of the diagnostic tests that may be required include:

  • Skin and blood tests: These tests are useful to diagnose ABPA, especially in cases where the patient has asthma, bronchiectasis or cystic fibrosis. The doctor or technician injects a small quantity of aspergillus antigen into the skin, usually the lower arm. A small red bump at or near the site will show that you have an allergic reaction. In addition, a sample of your blood might be analyzed to see if certain antibodies are present that indicate an allergic reaction.
  • Imaging tests: A chest X-ray or computerized tomography scan (CT/CAT scan) may be performed to examine the lungs.
  • Sputum culture: A sample of sputum might be stained (dyed) and tested to see if aspergillus fungus is present.
  • Biopsy: A small sample of tissue is removed from the lungs or sinuses to diagnose invasive aspergillosis.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 10/09/2019.

References

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