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Cancer. 2003 Jul 15;98(2):315-9.

Outcome predictors of 84 patients with hematologic malignancies and Fusarium infection.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Hematology Service, University Hospital, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.



Invasive infection by Fusarium sp. is associated with high mortality in patients with hematologic cancer. Yet to the authors' knowledge, little is known regarding predictors of adverse outcome.


The authors conducted a retrospective review of the records of patients with hematologic carcinoma and invasive fusariosis who were treated at one institution in the U.S. and at 11 centers in Brazil.


The records of 84 patients were evaluated. Neutropenia was present in 83% and 33 patients had undergone stem cell transplantation. Only 18 patients (21%) were alive 90 days after the diagnosis of fusariosis. Multivariate predictors of poor outcome were persistent neutropenia (hazard ratio [HR] of 5.43; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 2.64-11.11) and use of corticosteroids (HR of 2.18; 95% CI, 1.98-3.96). The actuarial survival rate of patients without any of these factors was 67% compared with 30% for patients who recovered from neutropenia but were receiving corticosteroids and 4% for patients with persistent neutropenia only. None of the patients with both risk factors survived (P<0.0001).


Measures to reduce the duration of neutropenia, as well as the judicious use of corticosteroids, may reduce the high mortality rate of fusariosis in patients with hematologic cancer.

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