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Mycoses. 1992 Nov-Dec;35(11-12):305-8.

Rhodotorula fungaemia: a life-threatening complication of indwelling central venous catheters.

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Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor 48109-0378.


A 30-year-old woman receiving total parenteral nutrition via an indwelling central venous catheter for an intestinal motility disorder developed fever, tachycardia, tachypnea, and hypotension. Multiple blood cultures drawn through the catheter prior to these events, as well as a peripheral blood culture obtained earlier, grew the red yeast Rhodotorula rubra. The patient was critically ill for over one month but eventually recovered with therapy including the systemic antifungal agents amphotericin B and flucytosine and removal of the catheter. Although Rhodotorula has generally been regarded as having low pathogenicity, this case emphasizes the serious nature of Rhodotorula sepsis and suggests the need for both systemic antifungal therapy and removal of a colonized indwelling catheter.

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