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Ann Med Health Sci Res. 2013 Apr;3(2):238-44. doi: 10.4103/2141-9248.113669.

Fungal infections in intensive care unit: challenges in diagnosis and management.

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Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care, Gian Sagar Medical College and Hospital, Ram Nagar, Banur, Punjab, India.


Infections have almost become an inseparable part of the intensive care units throughout the globe in spite of numerous advancements in diagnostic and therapeutic interventions. With advances in critical care medicine and introduction of broad-spectrum antibiotics, the incidence of invasive fungal infections in intensive care is on the rise, especially in patients with immunosuppression. The aim of this review is to collect recent information about various types of invasive fungal infections prevalent in the intensive care unit, the problems in their diagnosis and recent trends in their management. A thorough literature search was made in PubMed and Google using the following keywords for our search: Invasive fungal infection, antifungal therapy in intensive care unit, candidiasis. The major fungi implicated worldwide are Candida and Aspergillus spp., followed by Cryptococcus, Histoplasma, etc., in endemic areas. These produce a wide variety of infections that are difficult to diagnose as most of the diagnosing tests are non-specific and the culture takes a long time. An early suspicion of fungal infection with institution of appropriate antifungal therapy is mandatory for a positive outcome and to prevent development of invasive fungal infection.


Antifungal therapy; Intensive care unit; Invasive fungal infection

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