Background: Diagnosis of invasive aspergillosis (IA) in patients with hematologic malignancies and under the risk of IA may be uncertain or may delay because of nonspecific clinical presentation of the patients and difficult application techniques of conventional methods. Early diagnosis can provide initial antifungal therapy and prevent high mortality. In this study, we investigated the performance of an Aspergillus lateral-flow device (LFD) test (OLM Diagnostics, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom) for the diagnosis of IA in pediatric febrile neutropenic patients with hematologic malignancies.
Methods: Three hundred and fourty seven serum samples of 26 febrile neutropenic episodes of 21 patients at risk for IA were tested. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), negative predictive value (NPV), and accuracy of the Aspergillus LFD test at episode level and at serum level were calculated.
Results: According to the reference diagnostic criteria of IA, one proven and 13 probable IA episodes were defined. Twelve episodes (46.1%) did not meet the criteria for IA. The sensitivity, specificity, PPV, NPV, accuracy of the Aspergillus LFD test at episode level and at serum level were 14.3%, 100%, 100%, 50%, 53.8% and 12.1%, 100%, 100%, 50.8%, 53.9%, respectively.
Conclusions: Aspergillus LFD test is an easy-to-use assay with short hands-on time; however, further study of the clinical utility in children and especially in serum samples are needed. It is a highly specific test for IA on bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) samples but is not useful as a screening test for serum samples unless combined with galactomannan (GM) antigen test because of its potentially suboptimal sensitivity.