Characteristic clinical features of Aspergillus appendicitis: Case report and literature review.

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Characteristic clinical features of Aspergillus appendicitis: Case report and literature review.

World J Gastroenterol. 2015 Nov 28;21(44):12713-21

Authors: Gjeorgjievski M, Amin MB, Cappell MS

This work aims to facilitate diagnosing Aspergillus appendicitis, which can be missed clinically due to its rarity, by proposing a clinical pentad for Aspergillus appendicitis based on literature review and one new case. The currently reported case of pathologically-proven Aspergillus appendicitis was identified by computerized search of pathology database at William Beaumont Hospital, 1999-2014. Prior cases were identified by computerized literature search. Among 10980 pathology reports of pathologically-proven appendicitis, one case of Aspergillus appendicitis was identified (rate = 0.01%). A young boy with profound neutropenia, recent chemotherapy, and acute myelogenous leukemia presented with right lower quadrant pain, pyrexia, and generalized malaise. Abdominal computed tomography scan showed a thickened appendiceal wall and periappendiceal inflammation, suggesting appendicitis. Emergent laparotomy showed an inflamed, thickened appendix, which was resected. The patient did poorly postoperatively with low-grade-fevers while receiving antibacterial therapy, but rapidly improved after initiating amphotericin therapy. Microscopic examination of a silver stain of the appendectomy specimen revealed fungi with characteristic Aspergillus morphology, findings confirmed by immunohistochemistry. Primary Aspergillus appendicitis is exceptionally rare, with only 3 previously reported cases. All three cases presented with (1)-neutropenia, (2)-recent chemotherapy, (3)-acute leukemia, and (4)-suspected appendicitis; (5)-the two prior cases initially treated with antibacterial therapy, fared poorly before instituting anti-Aspergillus therapy. The current patient satisfied all these five criteria. Based on these four cases, a clinical pentad is proposed for Aspergillus appendicitis: clinically-suspected appendicitis, neutropenia, recent chemotherapy, acute leukemia, and poor clinical response if treated solely by antibacterial/anti-candidial therapy. Patients presenting with this proposed pentad may benefit from testing for Aspergillus infection by silver-stains/immunohistochemistry and considering empirical anti-Aspergillus therapy pending a tissue diagnosis.

PMID: 26640349 [PubMed - in process]

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