ABPA guidelines update 2024
By GAtherton

Authoritative health-based organisations throughout the world occasionally release guidelines for doctors on specific health problems. This helps everyone give patients a consistent level of the right care, diagnosis and treatment and is particularly useful when the health problem is relatively uncommon and access to expert opinion is difficult.

The International Society for Human and Animal Mycology (ISHAM) is one such international organisation that specialises in fungal diseases. It runs a lot of ‘working groups‘ designed to address and discuss a whole range of fungal infections, run by ISHAM members from a wide range of backgrounds.

One such group is the ABPA working group, and this group has just released an update to its clinical practice guidelines for ABPA.

The new guidelines introduce a range of changes designed to efficiently capture more cases of ABPA, enabling the patient to get the right treatment. For example they suggest reducing the requirement for a total IgE test result score of 1000IU/mL to 500. They also suggest that all new admissions who are adults with severe asthma are routinely tested for total IgE, and children who symptoms are difficult to treat should also be tested. ABPA should be diagnosed when there is radiological evidence or appropriate predisposing conditions eg asthma, bronchiectasis along with IgE >500/IgG/eosinophils.

Doctors should take care not to miss cases of fungal sensitisation caused by fungi other than Aspergillus (ABPM).

Instead of staging ABPA, they suggest putting the patient into groups that don’t suggest progression of the disease.

The group suggests not routinely treating ABPA patients who have no symptoms, and if they develop acute ABPA oral steroids or itraconazole. If the symptoms keep recurring then use a combination of prednisolone and itraconazole.

Biologic medication is not appropriate as a first option for treating ABPA

Read the full guidelines here