Fungal Infection Trust
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Peculiar Phlegm

I was diagnosed with ABPA five weeks ago. I already have severe bronchiectasis & asthma - but the asthma is usually well controlled. The chest specialist said they wanted to start me on anti-fungals & steroids but would not do so until the reason for my poor liver blood tests were discovered. I have finally had an MRI scan (for liver & biliary/pancreatic ducts) and am now waiting for the results to come through....... To get to the point, although I am feeling well at the moment, I am coughing up phlegm which looks different to what I used to get with chest infections. I am coughing up mostly light coloured gelatinous phlegm but in the middle there appear to be small green strings. Or sometimes, the worm like strings are khaki brown. Is this normal for ABPA? I had a bronchoscopy in August which found no abnormality and had negative wash results. However my blood tests showed very high Aspergillus markers. Is this type of phlegm familiar to other ABPA or CPA sufferers?

4 Replies

In my experience, it varies, & I don't always see a correlation between the colour & how I feel. Have you had sputum samples taken? My consultant always asks that whenever I feel like I have a problem, I should get tested so they can keep an eye on the bugs that my lungs collect.

I suspect, unless you are seeing blood, that it's just a normal part of what we go through, but perhaps there's no harm in getting a sample tested to be on the safe side?


Hi i have had abpa for 2 years now. When i first got diagnosed and started on steroids i was coughing up a lot of mucus plugs with fungus. It was black or grey flecks but has a very distinct taste lwft at the back of my throat. A nasty one.

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The objects you see are quite commonly coughed up by people with ABPA and are thought to consist of dead fungus & lung tissue. It is quite normal and often welcomed as a sign your medication is working!


Ok thanks thats good to know. So when you stop coughing this up does it mean that your lungs are clear of fungus?


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