Invasive Aspergillosis Mimicking Metastatic Lung Cancer

Michiel J. E. G. W. Vanfleteren*, Anne-Marie C. Dingemans, Veerle F. Surmont, Karim Y. Vermaelen, Alida A. Postma, Astrid M. L. Oude Lashof, Cordula C. M. Pitz, Lizza E. L. Hendriks

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In a patient with a medical history of cancer, the most probable diagnosis of an (18)FDG-avid pulmonary mass combined with intracranial abnormalities on brain imaging is metastasized cancer. However, sometimes a differential diagnosis with an infectious cause such as aspergillosis can be very challenging as both cancer and infection are sometimes difficult to distinguish. Pulmonary aspergillosis can present as an infectious pseudotumour with clinical and imaging characteristics mimicking lung cancer. Even in the presence of cerebral lesions, radiological appearance of abscesses can look like brain metastasis. These similarities can cause significant diagnostic difficulties with a subsequent therapeutic delay and a potential adverse outcome. Awareness of this infectious disease that can mimic lung cancer, even in an immunocompetent patient, is important. We report a case of a 65-year-old woman with pulmonary aspergillosis disseminated to the brain mimicking metastatic lung cancer.
Original languageEnglish
Article number188
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalFrontiers in Oncology
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jun 2018


  • lung cancer
  • lung neoplasms
  • brain metastasis
  • brain neoplasms
  • brain abscess
  • aspergillosis
  • differential diagnosis
  • MRI
  • CT

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