2011 Volume 50 Issue 8 Pages 855-860
Background and Aim The treatment of choice for allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA) is oral corticosteroids (OCS). However, they are associated with numerous adverse effects. Inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) are associated with fewer side-effects; however, their role in the management of ABPA remains controversial. In this retrospective study, we evaluate the role of high doses of ICS in serological ABPA (ABPA-S).
Methods Patients with ABPA-S were treated with a combination of formoterol/budesonide (24-1600 micrograms per day), and followed up with history, physical examination, chest radiograph and total IgE levels at 6, 12, 18 and 24 weeks. Asthma control was evaluated using the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) criteria. OCS were initiated if the IgE levels continued to rise after six months of therapy with ICS.
Results There were 8 men and 13 women with a mean (SD) age of 39.3 (12.9) years. There was subjective improvement in all patients treated with ICS but none had complete control of asthma. After six months of therapy with ICS, the median IgE levels increased by 99.3%. After the initiation of OCS, there was complete resolution of asthma symptoms in 19 patients, and IgE levels fell by a median of 52.6% at six weeks. The median duration of follow-up was 15 months after OCS therapy. Eighteen patients achieved complete remission and three patients had a relapse in the first three months after stopping OCS. One patient required long-term OCS and was classified as glucocorticoid-dependent ABPA.
Conclusion High doses of ICS alone have no role in the management of ABPA-S and should not be used as first-line therapy. In patients receiving OCS or alternate therapy, ICS can be used as an add-on therapy for the control of symptoms of asthma.