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Curr Med Res Opin. 2010 Jul;26(7):1761-8. doi: 10.1185/03007995.2010.487796.

Candidemia in children.

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  • 1Divisionof Infectious Diseases, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


Seriously ill or immunocompromised children are at increased risk of invasive fungal infections, particularly candidemia. Candida albicans and Candida parapsilosis are the two most frequent causes of candidemia in pediatric patients. Candidemia in children is associated with high morbidity and mortality, increased length of hospital stays, and higher healthcare costs. Early effective antifungal therapy is the key to improved outcomes. Risk factors for candidemia may be used to identify patients suitable for empiric therapy. Such risk factors include prolonged stay in an intensive care unit, immunosuppression, prior bacterial infection, and recent surgery, as well as the use of a central venous catheter, mechanical ventilation, and/or total parenteral nutrition. Recent guidelines from the Infectious Diseases Society of America recommend consideration of fluconazole or an echinocandin for empiric therapy in suitable candidates, with a preference for an echinocandin in patients with moderate-to-severe disease, recent azole exposure, or high risk of Candida glabrata or Candida krusei infection. Fluconazole or an echinocandin is also preferred initial therapy for non-neutropenic candidemia, depending on disease severity and other characteristics. The guidelines recommend treatment with an echinocandin or lipid formulation of amphotericin B for most patients with neutropenic candidemia, although fluconazole is identified as an alternative for less critically ill patients without recent azole exposure. Risk factors for candidemia - and, hence, criteria for prophylaxis - are less well established in older children than in neonates. Further research is needed to better establish criteria for antifungal prophylaxis in children at high risk for candidemia.

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