What are the diagnostic criteria for allergic fungal sinusitis (AFS)?

Updated: Apr 13, 2020
  • Author: John E McClay, MD; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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No consensus exists among rhinologists concerning diagnostic criteria for allergic fungal sinusitis (AFS). Several authors have made observations.

  • In 1991, Allphin and colleagues described certain features that they felt differentiated allergic fungal sinusitis (AFS) from other forms of fungal sinusitis, including radiographic presence of multiple opacified paranasal sinuses, characteristic histologic findings of allergic mucin, and laboratory evidence of allergy.

  • In 1993, Loury and Schaefer proposed multiple diagnostic criteria, including eosinophilia, immediate skin reactivity or serum immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies to fungal antigen, elevated total immunoglobulin E (IgE) level, nasal mucosal edema or polyposis, histopathologic findings of allergic mucin containing noninvasive fungal hyphae, and characteristic CT or MRI findings. [6]

  • In 1994, in reporting the Mayo Clinic experience, Cody et al simplified the diagnostic criteria to include only characteristic allergic mucin and either noninvasive fungal hyphae within the collected mucin or positive fungal cultures. [7]

  • In 1994, Bent and Kuhn described what probably are the most widely accepted criteria for diagnosis. On the basis of the analysis of 15 cases, 5 common characteristics were observed, including Gell and Coombs type I (IgE-mediated) hypersensitivity to fungi, nasal polyposis, characteristic radiographic findings, eosinophilic mucin without fungal invasion into sinus tissue, and positive fungal stain of sinus contents removed at the time of surgery. [8]

  • In 1997, deShazo proposed a similar set of 5 criteria, including radiographic evidence of sinusitis, presence of allergic mucin (identified grossly or histopathologically), positive fungal stain or culture from the sinus at the time of surgery, absence of contributory factors (eg, diabetes mellitus, immunodeficiencies), and absence of fungal invasion. [9]

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