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Wednesday 01 December 1999

Azoles for allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis.

By: Wark P, Wilson AW, Gibson PG.

Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2000;(3):CD001108

BACKGROUND: Allergic Broncho-pulmonary Aspergillosis (ABPA) is hypersensitivity to the fungus Aspergillus Fumigatus that complicates patients with asthma and cystic fibrosis. The condition usually results in an increase in symptoms, a greater reliance on corticosteroids to control the disease process and may lead to a progressive decline in lung function. The mainstay of treatment for ABPA remains oral corticosteroids, though this does not completely prevent exacerbations and may not prevent the decline in lung function. OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this review is to determine the efficacy of azoles in the treatment of ABPA SEARCH STRATEGY: An initial search was carried out using the Cochrane Airways Group Asthma RCT register. The register was searched using the following terms: (asthma or wheeze) and (allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis or aspergillosis or allergic pulmonary aspergillosis or allergic fungal and disease or allergic mycotic and disease) and (azole or triazole or itraconazole or ketoconazole). SELECTION CRITERIA: All controlled trials that assessed the effect of azole antifungal agents compared to placebo or other standard, for any duration or dose regimen in subjects with ABPA of any age or severity were reviewed. Studies in languages other than English were included. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: All identified trials were independently reviewed by both reviewers & all data collected. Trial quality was scored by the Cochrane assessment of allocation concealment & the Jadad scale of methodological quality. MAIN RESULTS: A total of 11 trials were identified concerning the use of azoles in ABPA. Only two prospective controlled trials were identified. The first trial examined the use of Ketoconazole 400 mg daily for 12 months and demonstrated a reduction in immunological markers of disease activity and symptom scores, there was no significant improvement in lung function. The other trial examined the use of itraconazole for 16 weeks. This demonstrated a reduction in corticosteroid usage, an improvement in immunological markers, an improvement in pulmonary function and exercise tolerance. This study was only available as an abstract and limited details were available. REVIEWER'S CONCLUSIONS: There is insufficient information available to recommend the use of azole anti-fungal agents in the routine treatment of patients with ABPA.

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