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J Antimicrob Chemother. 2007 Sep;60(3):613-8. Epub 2007 Jun 18.

Adequacy of empirical antifungal therapy and effect on outcome among patients with invasive Candida species infections.

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Department of Medicine, Calgary Health Region and University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.



Although inadequate antimicrobial therapy has been demonstrated in multiple studies to increase the risk for death in bacterial infections, few data investigating the effect of antifungal therapy on outcome of serious fungal disease are available. We sought to assess the adequacy of empirical therapy and its effect on mortality in invasive Candida species infections.


Population-based surveillance of all patients with Candida spp. cultured from blood and/or cerebrospinal fluid was conducted. Adequacy of empirical therapy was assessed according to published guidelines.


During a 5 year period, 207 patients had an invasive Candida spp. infection identified; in 199 cases (96%) adequate data were available for assessment of treatment and outcome at hospital discharge. One hundred and three (52%) cases were due to Candida albicans, 44 (22%) were due to Candida glabrata and the remainder were due to other species. Between the time of culture draw and reporting of a positive culture, only 64 (32%) patients were treated with empirical therapy; this was deemed adequate in 51 (26%). Patients who received adequate empirical therapy had a significant decrease in crude mortality [14/51 (27%) versus 68/148 (46%); risk ratio 0.60 (95% confidence interval 0.37-0.96); P = 0.02]. After adjusting for age and the need for intensive care unit admission in logistic regression analysis, the use of adequate empirical therapy was independently associated with a reduced risk for death [odds ratio 0.46 (95% confidence interval 0.22-1.00); P = 0.05].


Adequate empirical therapy is used in a minority of patients with invasive Candida spp. infections but is associated with improved survival.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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