Case Study Analysis: Invasive Aspergillosis

Published: 2024-01-26
Case Study Analysis: Invasive Aspergillosis
Type of paper:  Case study
Categories:  Medicine Healthcare
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 689 words
6 min read

Human diseases and disorders are primarily caused by complications at a cell or molecular level. Even physical damages such as broken bones or burns cause damages to cells. Therefore, understanding how cells work in both diseased and healthy states enables medical professionals to identify the disease's nature and the appropriate treatment. However, some disorders tend to be complex, and therefore difficult to diagnose and treat. In most cases, the complexity occurs due to several factors and circumstances influencing the disorders' emergence and severity, including genes, racial or ethnic factors, and the patients' features. Medical professionals should, therefore, have an understanding beyond isolated cell behavior to conduct effective disease analysis. As a result, the analysis conducted in this paper focuses on explaining the symptoms portrayed by a 49-year-old patient diagnosed with invasive aspergillosis and the genes involved in the disorder's development.

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Based on the symptoms portrayed, the patient was diagnosed with invasive aspergillosis, an infection caused by a type of mold (fungus), and mainly occurs when the infection spreads from the lungs via the bloodstream to other body organs (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2020). Since the disease is common among people with immunocompromised status, the patient had rheumatoid arthritis that must have likely increased the risk of this infection. Besides, his current medications include prednisone five mg po qam, which suppresses the immune system and decreases inflammation. Therefore, prednisone must have contributed to the disease's development since immunosuppressive drugs cause invasive aspergillosis (Kosmidis, 2018).

He has admitted experiencing fever, chills, sweats, chest pains, coughing, episodes, hemoptysis, and fatigue. Chest pains and coughs with traces of blood (hemoptysis) occur due to vascular congestion in the lungs caused by fungal colonies (Aleksenko et al., 2006). With respiratory complications, the patient is likely to experience difficulties getting oxygen into the lungs and carbon dioxide out. Therefore, the shortage of oxygen and the buildup of carbon dioxide made him feel tired and low in energy (fatigue). Like other patients, his increasing body temperature (fever) is a normal body reaction indicating that something out of the ordinary is going on in his body.

Invasive aspergillosis is likely to occur in acute myeloid leukemia patients during consolidation therapy or post-induction aplasia. Patients with granulomatous disorder and recipients of solid organ transplants are also at significant risk of developing the condition (Cunha et al., 2013). Other risk factors relate to the patient's genetic background. For instance, the polymorphisms in genes associated with the immune system's regulation are likely significant determinants of a person's vulnerability to the disorder (Cunha et al., 2013). It is because these polymorphisms play an essential role during the periods of immunosuppression. The genes controlling effectors of innate immunity, including those in the toll-like receptor superfamily, collections, and the ones governing direct cytokine and chemokine response are likely to be associated with the disease development (Cunha et al., 2013).

Immunosuppression implies that one's immune system is not functioning the way it should. It is mainly caused by a disease or usage of immunosuppressive medications. Diseases tend to weaken the host's immune system, leaving their body systems vulnerable to various infections. On the other end, immunosuppressant drugs also suppress or reduce the body's ability to fight pathogens. Despite being used to treat some diseases and prepare patients for an organ transplant, using these medications can cause adverse effects to the patient's body systems. For instance, high impact immunosuppressive agents such as steroids and calcineurin inhibitors are linked to several devastating metabolic impacts (Bamgbola, 2016). They include hypertension, dyslipidemia, and potential for long term cardiovascular problems.


Aleksenko, A., Gyasi, R., & Gyasi, R. (2006). Disseminated invasive aspergillosis. Ghana Medical Journal, 40(2).

Bamgbola, O. (2016). Metabolic consequences of modern immunosuppressive agents in solid organ transplantation. Therapeutic Advances in Endocrinology and Metabolism, 7(3), 110–127.

Cunha, C., Aversa, F., Romani, L., & Carvalho, A. (2013). Human Genetic Susceptibility to Invasive Aspergillosis. PLoS Pathogens, 9(8), e1003434.

Kosmidis, C. (2018). Aspergillosis. NORD (National Organization for Rare Disorders).

Mayo Clinic Staff. (2020, February 5). Aspergillosis - symptoms, and causes. Mayo Clinic.‌

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