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Haematologica. 2012 Mar;97(3):459-63. doi: 10.3324/haematol.2011.051995. Epub 2011 Nov 4.

Comparative clinical effectiveness of prophylactic voriconazole/posaconazole to fluconazole/itraconazole in patients with acute myeloid leukemia/myelodysplastic syndrome undergoing cytotoxic chemotherapy over a 12-year period.

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Infectious Diseases Unit, Alfred Health Melbourne, Victoria 3004 Australia.


Post-induction aplasia for acute myeloid leukemia/myelodysplastic syndrome is a high-risk period for invasive fungal diseases. The effectiveness of fluconazole, itraconazole solution, voriconazole and posaconazole prophylaxis used consecutively from December 1998 to January 2010 in patients with acute myeloid leukemia/myelodysplastic syndrome undergoing remission-induction chemotherapy was retrospectively evaluated. A total of 216 consecutive patients received 573 prophylaxis courses. Breakthrough-invasive fungal disease incidence in fluconazole, itraconazole, voriconazole, posaconazole recipients was 25%, 16%, 14% and 3%, respectively. Voriconazole/posconazole versus fluconazole/itraconazole combined was associated with significant reductions in breakthrough-invasive fungal disease incidence (20% vs. 8%, P=0.011), premature discontinuations (46% vs. 22% P<0.001) and empiric antifungal treatment (31% vs. 8.5%, P<0.001). Microbiologically confirmed infections were molds. Posaconazole compared to other drugs was associated with fewer courses requiring computed-tomography (43% vs. 26%, P<0.001). Adoption of voriconazole/posaconazole has decreased invasive fungal disease incidence, empiric antifungal treatment and for posaconazole, computed-tomography demand, with effectiveness of posaconazole comparable to clinical trial experience.

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