Allergic Bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis (ABPA)
by Amy Scholten, MPH
Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA) is a rare allergic lung problem. It is linked to a fungus. In some people, it can lead to lung damage.
ABPA is caused by an allergy to an inhaled fungus. The fungus grows in decaying plants, soil, certain foods, dust, and water. When inhaled, the fungus can settle in the lungs. This causes:
ABPA is more common in adults. However, it can occur in children. Other things that raise the risk are:
Symptoms of ABPA vary from mild to life-threatening. They may be:
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. You may be referred to a lung doctor.
Tests may include:
Images may be taken to look for lung problems. They may include:
If the diagnosis is unclear, bronchoscopy may be used to look at the airway and get a tissue sample.
Pulmonary function tests (PFTs) may be done to monitor the disease.
ABPA is often diagnosed after several positive tests for ABPA.
The goals of treatment are to:
Medicines to treat ABPA may be:
There are no current guidelines to prevent ABPA.
American Lung Association
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/allergic-bronchopulmonary-aspergillosis . Accessed March 30, 2021.
Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA). American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology website. Available at:
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Accessed March 30, 2021.
Patel G, Greenberger PA. Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis. Allergy Asthma Proc. 2019;40(6):421-424.
Last reviewed December 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board David L. Horn, MD, FACP
Last Updated: 3/30/2021
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