European Respiratory Society

Global burden of chronic pulmonary aspergillosis complicating sarcoidosis

David W. Denning, Alex Pleuvry, Donald C. Cole


Chronic pulmonary aspergillosis (CPA) may complicate pulmonary sarcoidosis. We re-estimated the global burden of sarcoidosis and the burden of CPA complicating sarcoidosis.

We searched the literature and reference lists of retrieved papers to identify all published sarcoidosis incidence and prevalence data. We estimated the frequency of CPA from 11 papers relating to >3,000 patients with sarcoidosis to derive CPA patient numbers. We applied an annual attrition rate of 15% (range 10–25%) to estimate the global burden of CPA.

We estimate that the annual incidence of sarcoidosis is 344,000 patients worldwide and the prevalence is ∼1,238,000 cases, distributed as follows: 165,979 in Europe, 224,000 in the Americas, 492,892 in Africa, 80,023 in the Eastern Mediterranean, 41,660 in the West Pacific and 234,010 in Southeast Asia. CPA complicates sarcoidosis in 3–12% of cases. Using a 6% frequency, we estimate a global burden of 71,907 (range 35,954–143,815 (3–12%)) CPA cases complicating sarcoidosis, with 24% and 37% of cases estimated to be present in the Americas and Africa, because of the higher incidence of sarcoidosis in black people.

As CPA responds to long-term antifungal therapy, which may prevent life-threatening haemoptysis, screening periodically for CPA in those with pulmonary sarcoidosis may be important, especially in patients requiring corticosteroid therapy.


  • Received December 27, 2011.
  • Accepted May 31, 2012.
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