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Mycoses. 1999;42(7-8):431-42.

Five-year-survey of invasive aspergillosis in a paediatric cancer centre. Epidemiology, management and long-term survival.

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Department of Pediatrics, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University Hospital, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.


The epidemiology, management, and long-term survival of invasive aspergillosis was assessed in a prospective, 5-year observational study in 346 unselected paediatric cancer patients receiving dose-intensive chemotherapy for newly diagnosed or recurrent malignancies. Invasive aspergillosis occurred exclusively in the context of haematological malignancies, where it accounted for an incidence of 6.8% (n = 13 of 189). The lung was the primary site in 12 cases, and dissemination was present in three of those. Prior to diagnosis, the overwhelming majority of patients had been profoundly neutropenic for at least 14 days (n = 11 of 13) and were receiving systemic antifungal agents (n = 10 of 13). Clinical signs and symptoms were nonspecific but always included fever. All 11 patients who were diagnosed and treated during lifetime for a minimum of 10 days responded to either medical or combined medical and surgical treatment, and seven were cured (64%). Nevertheless, the overall long-term survival was merely 31% after a median follow-up of 5.68 years after diagnosis. Apart from refractory or recurrent cancer, the main obstacles to successful outcome were failure to diagnose IA during lifetime and bleeding complications in patients with established diagnosis. The frequency of invasive aspergillosis of greater than 15% in paediatric patients with acute myeloblastic leukaemia and recurrent leukaemias warrants the systematic investigation of preventive strategies in these highly vulnerable subgroups.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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