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Leuk Lymphoma. 1993 Jul;10(4-5):369-76.

Candida tropicalis infections in children with leukemia.

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Department of Infectious Diseases, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN 38105.


The Candida species account for approximately three-fourths of fungal infections in patients with cancer. Although Candida albicans is the most frequent cause, C. tropicalis is increasingly implicated as an important pathogen. Over a 12 year period 19 children treated for leukemia at our institution developed C. tropicalis infections. We describe their clinical presentation, extent of fungal infection, treatment, and outcome. Fungemia without meningitis in 11 children was treated successfully, whereas C. tropicalis meningitis in 7 children was uniformly fatal. An additional patient had unsuspected, widespread infection detected at autopsy. Multiple sites, including the cerebrospinal fluid yielded C. tropicalis. Previously reported risk factors including neutropenia, broad-spectrum antibiotic usage, corticosteroid therapy, and total parenteral nutrition were observed in our cases. A high index of suspicion and the early use of aggressive antifungal therapy are critical to the successful management of C. tropicalis infections in children with leukemia.

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