Experimental Aspergilloma in the Pleural Cavity of the Rabbit
The number of patients with aspergillosis is presently increasing along with the increase in immunocompromised hosts. Aspergillomas arising from saprophytic proliferation of Aspergillus often occur in preexisting lung cavities. Using many animal models, aspergilloma experiments have been performed to gain some knowledge regarding the pathophysiology, pathogenesis, and treatment of aspergillomas. To date, however, no success has been achieved in making a saprophytic fungus ball. The present report describes the development of an aspergilloma animal model in the rabbit by a two step process; creation of an abnormal pleural cavity by the injection of turpentine oil, followed by inoculation of that pleural cavity with an artificial fungus ball made of A. fumigatus. Although the saprophytic aspergilloma created by this method is not yet completely identical with that in human cases, I believe that this experimental system should prove useful for study of the pathogenesis of aspergilloma.