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      Primary or secondary antifungal prophylaxis in patients with hematological maligancies: efficacy and damage


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          Patients with hematological malignancies often develop febrile neutropenia (FN) as a complication of cancer chemotherapy. Primary or secondary antifungal prophylaxis is recommended for patients with hematological malignancies to reduce the risk of invasive fungal infection (IFI). This study retrospectively evaluated the efficacy and potential harm of administration of primary and secondary antifungal prophylaxis to patients with hematological malignancies at one hospital.


          All patients with hematological malignancies older than 14 years of age who had experienced at least one FN attack during chemotherapy while being treated at one hospital between November 2010 and November 2012 were retrospectively evaluated.


          A total of 282 FN episodes in 126 consecutive patients were examined during a 2-year study period. The mean patient age was 51.73±14.4 years (range: 17–82 years), and 66 patients were male. Primary prophylaxis with posaconazole was administered to 13 patients and systemic antifungal treatment under induction or consolidation chemotherapy to seven patients. Of 26 patients who received secondary antifungal prophylaxis with either oral voriconazole (n=17) or posaconazole (n=6) during 46 FN episodes, systemic antifungal therapy was administered in 16 of 38 episodes and three of eight episodes, respectively. Secondary antifungal prophylaxis with caspofungin was found effective in treating six FN episodes in three patients who had experienced at least two persistent candidemia attacks. The mortality rates associated with IFI were 9% in the first year, 2% in the second year, and 6% overall. The mortality rates associated with candidemia were 33% in the first year, 22% in the second year, and 27% overall.


          Primary antifungal prophylaxis should be administered to selected patients on the basis of consideration of efficacy, cost, and potential harm. Use of secondary prophylaxis may reduce systemic antifungal use and IFI frequency but may increase risk of colonization and infection with azole-resistant fungal strains.

          Most cited references32

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          Clinical practice guideline for the use of antimicrobial agents in neutropenic patients with cancer: 2010 update by the infectious diseases society of america.

          This document updates and expands the initial Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) Fever and Neutropenia Guideline that was published in 1997 and first updated in 2002. It is intended as a guide for the use of antimicrobial agents in managing patients with cancer who experience chemotherapy-induced fever and neutropenia. Recent advances in antimicrobial drug development and technology, clinical trial results, and extensive clinical experience have informed the approaches and recommendations herein. Because the previous iteration of this guideline in 2002, we have a developed a clearer definition of which populations of patients with cancer may benefit most from antibiotic, antifungal, and antiviral prophylaxis. Furthermore, categorizing neutropenic patients as being at high risk or low risk for infection according to presenting signs and symptoms, underlying cancer, type of therapy, and medical comorbidities has become essential to the treatment algorithm. Risk stratification is a recommended starting point for managing patients with fever and neutropenia. In addition, earlier detection of invasive fungal infections has led to debate regarding optimal use of empirical or preemptive antifungal therapy, although algorithms are still evolving. What has not changed is the indication for immediate empirical antibiotic therapy. It remains true that all patients who present with fever and neutropenia should be treated swiftly and broadly with antibiotics to treat both gram-positive and gram-negative pathogens. Finally, we note that all Panel members are from institutions in the United States or Canada; thus, these guidelines were developed in the context of North American practices. Some recommendations may not be as applicable outside of North America, in areas where differences in available antibiotics, in the predominant pathogens, and/or in health care-associated economic conditions exist. Regardless of venue, clinical vigilance and immediate treatment are the universal keys to managing neutropenic patients with fever and/or infection.
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            2002 guidelines for the use of antimicrobial agents in neutropenic patients with cancer.

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              Voriconazole therapeutic drug monitoring in patients with invasive mycoses improves efficacy and safety outcomes.

              Voriconazole is the therapy of choice for aspergillosis and a new treatment option for candidiasis. Liver disease, age, genetic polymorphism of the cytochrome CYP2C19, and comedications influence voriconazole metabolism. Large variations in voriconazole pharmacokinetics may be associated with decreased efficacy or with toxicity. This study was conducted to assess the utility of measuring voriconazole blood levels with individualized dose adjustments. A total of 181 measurements with high-pressure liquid chromatography were performed during 2388 treatment days in 52 patients. A large variability in voriconazole trough blood levels was observed, ranging from 5.5 mg/L (a level possibly associated with toxicity) in 31% of cases. Lack of response to therapy was more frequent in patients with voriconazole levels 1 mg/L (15 [12%] of 39 patients; P=.02). Blood levels >1 mg/L were reached after increasing the voriconazole dosage, with complete resolution of infection in all 6 cases. Among 16 patients with voriconazole trough blood levels >5.5 mg/L, 5 patients (31%) presented with an encephalopathy, including 4 patients who were treated intravenously with a median voriconazole dosage of 8 mg/kg per day, whereas none of the patients with levels

                Author and article information

                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Dove Medical Press
                28 April 2014
                : 10
                : 305-312
                [1 ]Department of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology, Istanbul, Turkey
                [2 ]Department of Hematology, Ministry of Health Okmeydanı Training and Research Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Habip Gedik, Department of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology, Ministry of Health Okmeydanı Training and Research Hospital, SB Okmeydanı Eğitim ve Araştırma Hastanesi Şişli-Istanbul, Turkey, Tel +90 212 314 5555, Fax +90 212 221 7800, Email habipgedik@ 123456yahoo.com
                © 2014 Gedik et al. This work is published by Dove Medical Press Limited, and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License

                The full terms of the License are available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

                Original Research

                azole resistance,febrile neutropenia,hematological malignancy,invasive fungal infection,primary antifungal prophylaxis,secondary antifungal prophylaxis


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