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PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles
Infectious Diseases - Respiratory Medicine

Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Detecting Galactomannan in Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid for Diagnosing Invasive Aspergillosis
Published: Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Author: Mingxiang Zou et al.

by Mingxiang Zou, Lanhua Tang, Shushan Zhao, Zijin Zhao, Luyao Chen, Peng Chen, Zebing Huang, Jun Li, Lizhang Chen, Xuegong Fan


Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) galactomannan (GM) assay has been used for diagnosing invasive aspergillosis (IA). We aimed to derive a definitive estimate of the overall accuracy of BAL-GM for diagnosing IA.

Methods and Results

We undertook a systematic review of thirty diagnostic studies that evaluated the BAL-GM assay for diagnosing IA. PubMed and CBM (China Biological Medicine Database) databasees were searched for relevant studies published in all languages up until Feb 2012. The pooled diagnostic odds ratio (DOR) and summary receiver operating characteristic (SROC) were constructed for each cutoff value. Additionally, pooled sensitivity (SEN), specificity (SPE), and positive and negative likelihood ratios (PLR and NLR, respectively) were calculated for summarizing overall test performance. Thirty studies were included in this meta-analysis. The summary estimates of pooled DOR, SEN, SPE, PLR, and NLR of the BAL-GM assay (cutoff value 0.5) for proven or probable IA were 52.7 (95% confidence interval (CI) 31.8–87.3), 0.87 (95% CI 0.79–0.92), 0.89 (95% CI 0.85–0.92), 8.0 (95% CI 5.7–11.1) and 0.15 (95% CI 0.10–0.23) respectively. The SROC was 0.94 (95% CI 0.92–0.96). Compared with cutoff value of 0.5, it has higher DOR, SPE and PLR, and similar SEN and NLR with cutoff value of 1.0, which indicated the optimal cutoff value might be 1.0. Compared with BAL-GM, serum GM has a lower SEN and higher SPE, while PCR displays a lower SEN and a similar SPE.


With the optimal cutoff value of 1.0, the BAL-GM assay has higher SEN compared to PCR and serum GM test. It is a useful adjunct in the diagnosis of proven and probable IA.