Measurement of Aspergillus galactomannan in the blood serum is used in the diagnosis of invasive aspergillosis and in monitoring its treatment.
Invasive aspergillosis is a serious infection that occurs in patients with neutropenia following transplantation or under immunosuppressive therapy. Invasive aspergillosis has an extremely high mortality rate and rapid progression of infection. About 30% of cases remain undiagnosed and untreated.
The definitive diagnosis of aspergillosis requires positive biopsies or microbiological cultures. However, because biopsies are difficult to obtain and the sensitivity of cultures is generally low, the diagnosis is often based on nonspecific clinical symptoms (unexplained fever, cough, chest pain, dyspnoea) in combination with radiologic evidence (computed tomography). The definitive diagnosis is often late.
Detection of serum galactomannan, a molecule found in the cell wall of Aspergillus, can be detected on average 7 to 14 days before other signs of the disease become visible. Measurement of Aspergillus galactomannan in the serum may allow the initiation of preventive antifungal therapy before the infection becomes life-threatening.
Laboratory test results are the most important parameter for the diagnosis and monitoring of all pathological conditions. 70%-80% of diagnostic decisions are based on laboratory tests. The correct interpretation of laboratory results allows a doctor to distinguish "healthy" from "diseased".
Laboratory test results should not be interpreted from the numerical result of a single analysis. Test results should be interpreted in relation to each individual case and family history, clinical findings, and the results of other laboratory tests and information. Your personal physician should explain the importance of your test results.
At Diagnostiki Athinon we answer any questions you may have about the test you perform in our laboratory and we contact your doctor to get the best possible medical care.