The impact of the updated EORTC/MSG criteria on the classification of hematological patients with suspected invasive pulmonary aspergillosis

Hanne Lamberink*, Alex Wagemakers, Kim C E Sigaloff, Robin van Houdt, Nick A de Jonge, Karin van Dijk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)



Our aim was to evaluate the effect of the updated European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) and Mycoses Study Group 2019 definitions for invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA) on patient classification and the related all-cause 12-week mortality.


In this retrospective cohort study from our tertiary care centre, we reclassified patients with haematological malignancy who underwent bronchoalveolar lavage between 2014 and 2019 for suspected IPA using the novel EORTC 2019 criteria. We performed receiver operating characteristic curve analysis to define the optimal cut-off for positive PCR and galactomannan and present survival analyses and their possible association with these diagnostic criteria through post hoc comparisons with log rank and Cox regression.


From 323 episodes of suspected IPA in 282 patients, 73 were reclassified: 31 (42.5%) from possible to probable IPA, 5 (6.8%) from EORTC criteria not met to probable IPA, and 37 (50.7%) from EORTC criteria not met to possible IPA. Probable IPA increased therefore 11.1% (64/323, 19.8% to 100/323, 30.9%), mostly due to positive PCR (31/36, 86.1%). There was no difference in mortality between newly defined possible and probable IPA (log rank p = 0.950). Mortality was higher in probable cases with lower cycle thresholds (Ct values) versus higher Ct values (p = 0.004). Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis showed an optimal Ct value cut-off of 36.8 with a sensitivity of 75% (95% CI 64.9%-85.1%) and a specificity of 61.7% (95% CI 53.5-69.9) for 12-week mortality.


The new EORTC criteria led to 11.1% more probable IPA diagnoses, mostly due to Aspergillus PCR. Restricting positive PCR to below a certain threshold might improve the discrimination of the new EORTC IPA categories for mortality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1120-1125
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Microbiology and Infection
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022
Externally publishedYes

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Copyright © 2022 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.


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