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Med Mycol. 2012 Aug;50(6):611-8. doi: 10.3109/13693786.2012.669502. Epub 2012 Mar 21.

Risk factors for mortality in patients with mucormycosis.

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  • 1Division of General Internal Medicine, Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute, Harbor-University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA, USA.


Optimal clinical care and clinical investigation of patients with mucormycosis are limited by absence of controlled trials, and absence of well-defined predictors of mortality or clinical response. The Deferasirox-AmBisome Therapy for mucormycosis (DEFEAT Mucor) study was the first randomized clinical trial conducted on patients with mucormycosis, and demonstrated that adjunctive deferasirox therapy did not improve outcomes of the disease. The current study describes clinical factors from the 20 patients enrolled to identify those associated with 90-day mortality of the 11 (55%) patients who died by day 90. Age, diabetes mellitus, transplant status, or antifungal therapy were not associated with mortality. However, active malignancy or neutropenia at enrollment were associated with increased mortality. Pulmonary infection was linked with lower Kaplan-Meier survival compared to non-pulmonary infection. Higher baseline serum concentrations of iron and ferritin were also associated with mortality. No patient who progressed clinically during the first 14 days of study therapy survived; however, many patients who clinically improved during that time did not survive to 90 days. In contrast, day 30 clinical response was predictive of 90-day survival. These factors may be useful in defining enrollment randomization stratification critieria for future clinical trials, and in supporting clinical care of patients with mucormycosis.

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