Allergic Bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis (ABPA)
by Rick Alan
Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA) is an allergic lung disorder. It is related to a fungus. Aspergillosis can also occur as:
ABPA is caused by an allergic reaction to an inhaled fungus. It grows and flourishes in decaying vegetation, soil, certain foods, dust, and water. The inhaled fungus colonizes mucus in the lungs, causing:
Factors that may increase your chances of ABPA:
Symptoms of ABPA are usually those of progressive asthma. These include:
As ABPA progresses, other symptoms may occur:
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
Images may be taken of your bodily structures. This can be done with:
Your bodily fluids and tissues may be tested. This can be done with:
Your lungs may be tested. This can be done with pulmonary function tests (PFTs).
ABPA can appear quite similar to non-ABPA induced asthma. ABPA is typically diagnosed after several repeat tests for ABPA are positive over a number of months or years.
The goals of treatment include:
ABPA is usually treated with:
Avoiding exposure to fungus is the best way to prevent ABPA. However, this is difficult because fungus is so prevalent in the environment. Guidelines to help prevent exposure to the fungus include:
Measures to avoid symptoms and prevent permanent lung damage caused by ABPA include:
American Lung Association
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed... . Updated January 6, 2017. Accessed December 11, 2017.
Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA). American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Accessed December 11, 2017.
Wark PA, Gibson PG, Wilson AJ. Azoles for allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis associated with asthma. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2004;(3): CD001108.
Last reviewed November 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board David L. Horn, MD, FACP
Last Updated: 12/20/2014
EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our Health Library Support team will respond to your email request within 2 business days.