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J Antimicrob Chemother. 2013 Nov;68 Suppl 3:iii5-16. doi: 10.1093/jac/dkt389.

Preventing invasive fungal disease in patients with haematological malignancies and the recipients of haematopoietic stem cell transplantation: practical aspects.

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Department of Hematology, Ankara University Medical Faculty, Ankara, Turkey.


Invasive fungal disease (IFD), predominantly aspergillosis, is associated with significant morbidity and mortality in immunocompromised patients, especially those with haematological malignancies and recipients of allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplantation. There has been a great deal of scientific debate as to the effectiveness of antifungal prophylaxis in preventing infection in different patient groups and in which patients it is an appropriate management option. Deciding on an appropriate prophylaxis regimen for IFD is challenging as the incidence varies among different patient groups, due to the varied nature of their underlying haematological disease, and in different regions and centres. Attempts have been made to define risk factors and include them in treatment protocols. Impaired immune status of the patient, especially neutropenia, is a key risk factor for IFD and can sometimes be related to specific polymorphisms of genes controlling innate immunity. Risk factors also vary according to the type of fungal pathogen. Consequently, prophylaxis needs to be tailored to individual patient groups. Furthermore, the choice of antifungal agent for prophylaxis depends on the potential for drug-drug interactions with the patients' concomitant medications. Additional challenges are optimal timing of antifungal prophylaxis, when to change from prophylaxis to antifungal treatment and how to prevent recurrence of IFD. This article considers the use of antifungal prophylaxis for patients at risk of IFD in daily clinical practice, with clinical profiles that may be distinct from those covered by guidelines, and aims to provide practical advice for treatment of these patient groups.


aspergillosis; candidiasis; haematological malignancy; immunocompromised hosts; prophylaxis

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