Management of candidiasis in the intensive care unit

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In the last two decades, Candida has emerged as an important opportunistic pathogen. Patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) are particularly susceptible to this infection because of the severity of their underlying illness and the excess use of medical and surgical interventions. The frequent use of antibiotics, central venous catheters and other intravascular devices as well as poor gut motility or abdominal surgery place these patients at high risk of infection, which contributes to the morbidity and mortality of the already critically ill patient. Early recognition and appropriate management of invasive candidiasis are therefore important. This article addresses important management issues such as the role of screening for Candida colonization, the use of prophylaxis and the choice of antifungal agents for the treatment of presumed and proven invasive candidiasis in the adult ICU setting.

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