Candida fungemia in neonates treated with fluconazole: report of forty cases, including eight with meningitis

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Purpose of the study.To assess efficacy and safety of fluconazole in neonates with Candida fungemia.Study design.Multicenter prospective protocol of all fungemias appearing between January 1, 1993, and December 31, 1997, in four major university hospitals.Results.Forty neonates, 28 of them with very low birth weight (<1500 g; 30.5 median gestation week), with documented Candida albicans fungemia were treated with intravenous fluconazole in a daily dosage of 6 mg/kg once daily for 6 to 48 days. Thirty-four received fluconazole as monotherapy and 6 received it in combination with amphotericin B. Thirty-two (80%) were cured; 4 of them relapsed despite at least 14 days of therapy, but they were ultimately cured without sequelae. Eight other neonates died, 4 because of fungal infection and 4 because of prematurity or hemorrhage or lung failure, with fungemia (20% overall and 10% attributable mortality). Two neonates had elevated liver enzymes during fluconazole therapy and 2 others had elevated serum creatinine during fluconazole monotherapy. In none of them did these abnormalities necessitate discontinuation of antifungal therapy. In 8 neonates fungal meningitis developed as a complication of fungemia. All but 3 fungemias were C. albicans; 3 were Candida parapsilosis.Conclusions.Fluconazole was safe and effective antifungal therapy even in complicated or Candida fungemia in neonates and in infants with very low birth weight.

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