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Haematologica. 2006 Jul;91(7):986-9. Epub 2006 Jun 1.

Invasive fungal infections in patients with hematologic malignancies in a tertiary care cancer center: an autopsy study over a 15-year period (1989-2003).

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Department of Infectious Diseases, Infection Control and Employee Health, Unit 402, Laboratory Medicine, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Blvd, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


We evaluated autopsy-proven invasive fungal infections (IFI) in patients with hematologic malignancies over three periods (1989-1993, 1994-1998, and 1999-2003). The autopsy rate declined significantly (67%-34%-26%, respectively p<0.0001). IFI were identified in 314 (31%) of 1017 autopsies. Most IFI (75%) were not diagnosed antemortem. The prevalence of invasive mold infections increased significantly (19%-24%-25% p=0.05) in parallel with the emergence of Zygomycetes (0.9%-4%-3%; p=0.03). The prevalence of all other IFI remained relatively constant. Among patients with invasive pulmonary aspergillosis, those with graft-versus-host disease had a histopathological pattern distinct from those with neutropenia. The complex and evolving epidemiology of IFI in severely immunocompromised patients is not well captured by current diagnostic methods.

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