Pulmonary eosinophilia with and without allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis.
Sixty five patients with pulmonary eosinophilia attending one respiratory unit were reviewed. All had fleeting radiographic abnormalities and peripheral blood eosinophil counts greater than 500 x 10(6)/l. Eighteen had a single episode and 47 recurrent episodes during a median follow up period of 14 years. Thirty three patients had allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis on the basis of a positive skin test response to Aspergillus fumigatus, serum precipitins, or culture of A fumigatus from sputum, or a combination of these. All but seven patients had asthma, six of the seven being in the group who did not have allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis. The patients with allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis were more often male and had a greater incidence of asthma and an earlier age of onset of asthma than those without aspergillosis. The patients with aspergillosis had lower mean blood eosinophil counts and more episodes of pulmonary eosinophilia and more commonly had radiographic shadowing that suggested fibrosis or bronchiectasis (20 v 7). Pulmonary eosinophilia associated with allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis appears to be a distinct clinical syndrome resulting in greater permanent radiographic abnormality despite lower peripheral blood eosinophil counts.