There are important advances in the management of bacterial infection in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF), but there are many gaps in the field of fungal infections.
The aim of this study was to analyse whether chronic respiratory filamentous fungal colonization had clinical impact and whether antifungal treatment can change the disease.
The prospective, bicentric and descriptive study was carried out within a 3-year follow-up period, with four-month periodicity medical controls. Adult patients from two CF units of tertiary hospitals were included. Clinical, microbiological, analytical and spirometric variables were collected. Quality of life was evaluated in a subgroup, using the Spanish version of the Revised Cystic Fibrosis Quality of Life Questionnaire (CFQ-R). To statistically analyze the evolution of forced expiratory along time (volume of air blown out in 1 second -FEV-) and the forced vital capacity (FVC), mixed linear models were carried out.
From the ninety-eight patients under study, 40 suffered chronic filamentous fungal colonization. The presence of filamentous fungi in airway was associated to an annual fall of FEV and FVC of 0.029 and 0.017 litres, respectively (p<0.001). In addition, worse quality of life based on CFQ-R, significant when concerning physical condition and emotional state, was also linked with the fungal colonization. Protocolized antifungal therapy, nebulized or oral, improved FEV in 0.023 and 0.024 litres per year, respectively (p<0.001).
Chronic filamentous fungal colonization in patients with CF is associated with a significant annual decline of lung function that persists over time. Chronic antifungal therapy slows down this progression, mainly in the patient with more advanced disease.

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