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Lung Fungal Infection

Home Demo forums Patient Message Board Lung Fungal Infection

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    Hi and Happy & Healthy New Year to everyone!
    I was just reading Debe’s post about the lung fungal infection. My dad has been in the hospital for a week now. His counts are terribly low…wbc .6, hgb 7.6, & plt 40K. He has received 6 units of blood in 5 days – now I must point to the fact that it is 14 days from his last Vidaza therapy and that is a culprit of lowering the numbers. He had an MRI of his chest and they saw a spot.They haven’t said what it is…they may do a scope today. I was wondering how do they diagonse the fungal infection in the lung? Is it by a blood test, X-ray or scope?
    Thanks in advance for your help!! smile

    B. Greene

    I’m not sure. That was one of the miseries we escaped or they didn’t tell us. I never see anything on here about breathing treatments. When Ron was in the hospital it was routine. He had the stuff for his lungs everyday and one in particular which they give like every four to six weeks to prevent the fungal infections. I would certainly ask about it. I will also note the first time he had the anti fungal preventative they asked if he was allergic to something, of course he didn’t know, and it did react and he couldn’t breathe for a few minutes. So now before this particular drug they give him something to prevent this happening.

    You might inquire about it.

    Is he in the hospital for some other reason than the low counts? They always just run us back and forth for the trans and never admit when low.


    Hi Christina,

    To diagnose fungal infection in the lungs a bronch wash (or bronchial lavage)- bronchial tubes of the lung are repeatedly washed with water to obtain a good sample to culture, or a biopsy of the lung are performed.

    Treatment –
    amphotericin B (Fungizone) is the first-line therapy. For patients who do not respond to oral amphotericin B, another option is a different formulation of the same drug called liposomal amphotericin B.

    For patients who fail to respond or who cannot tolerate amphotericin B, another drug called itraconazole (Sporanox)is given daily. Treatment generally lasts about 3 months.

    Hope your dad feels better soon.
    Take care, Jody

    Here’s a great article:


    Hi, My mom’s platelets are too low for a biopsy, but sense she was being treated for pneumonia and she was still getting a fever, a radiologist read the xray and saw the mass and they are pretty confident that is what it is. She did have 2 treat ments of the fungal iv stuff, the lst one she did not get a reaction to, the second was just as said in previous posts–she got the shake and bakes. It was not very fun, they gave her darvon and something else and then continued with the treatment and she made it through fine. They would have done more treatments but thought they could treat it orally, so she didn’t have to go through that. She still does not feel all that great, but she did go home yesterday. Deb


    they diagnosed mine from a scan. Get the terms of types mixed up. They put me through a doughnut shaped thing.I too had the “shake and bake ” after other meds did not work on the fever.I was really nervous about it They gave it to me at night and gave me adivan Iv before. I slept through the whole thing.


    Hi and thanks to all who responded!
    B.Greene, yes my dad was in for more than low counts, he had 104 fever for 2 1/2 days and over the next several days it went down…now to 98. His lung scan showed a small spot but because his wbc is .8 they cannot do a scope. You all are talking about getting the shake and bakes…what do you mean? Just getting the shakes?
    Shirlsgirl…did your mom have a fever with that too?
    Debe…glad to hear your mom went home, she must be glad too. What are they doing for her low wbc? They are giving my dad neupogen, although three days later and the number is not budging yet…hopefully tomorrow!
    Suzanne-what meds did you get for the infection and how long until it disappeared?
    Thanks!! Chris


    I had pneumonia twice with fungal infection. They went down my throat with a tube with a camera and some kind of clipperrs on the end. It was not too bad except for the last 5 minutes or so. They could not give me anymore pain killeer and had to get the sample. Evenso, they were not able to determine what had caused the fungal infection. I don’t remember all the things they treated it with but believe that one of the items was augmentum cl. It was rough at the time because we had been forced out of our home for over 2 months to get the kitchen rebuilt after discovering a leak from the dishwasher had soaked the subflooring and worked its way up through the tile and cabinets. Repairs STILL not complete but area is usable. Jim


    the “shake and bake” refers to the side effects of the iv meds used to fight the fungal-many patients got extreme chills and I guess hot flashes during the treatment. the nurses called it that. When I came home they gave me Norvasc. It has been a year but I think they kept me on it until counts came up then put me back on during the second round of follow up chemo when they took the counts down again. They gave me several scansdudring the second round to check for it but it did not come back and even the “Nodule ” on the lungs that they said might be permanent went away during that second round.As I remember I still took the medication until the counts came up and it took a long time after the second round-more then 30 days!


    My mom’s dr. says the neupogen will not work cause mom’s raeb is too advanced. The side effects are not too appealing either. He says he cannot get revimid or the zarnestra until they are approved by the FDA. I hope my mom can hold out until then.

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