Voriconazole in the treatment of aspergillosis, scedosporiosis and other invasive fungal infections in children

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Abstract

Objective.

To describe the safety and efficacy of voriconazole in children treated within the compassionate release program.

Methods.

Children received voriconazole on a compassionate basis for treatment of an invasive fungal infection if they were refractory to or intolerant of conventional antifungal therapy. Voriconazole was administered as a loading dose of 6 mg/kg every 12 h iv on Day 1 followed by 4 mg/kg every 12 h iv thereafter. When feasible the route of administration of voriconazole was changed from iv to oral (100 or 200 mg twice a day for patients weighing <40 or ≥40 kg, respectively). Outcome was assessed by investigators at the end of therapy or at the last visit as success (complete or partial response), stable infection, or failure, based on protocol-defined criteria.

Results.

Sixty-nine children (ages 9 months to 15 years; median, 7 years) received voriconazole; 58 had a proven or probable fungal infection. Among these 58 patients 27 had hematologic malignancies and 13 had chronic granulomatous disease as the most frequent underlying conditions. Forty-two patients had aspergillosis, 8 had scedosporiosis, 4 had invasive candidiasis and 4 had other invasive fungal infections. The median duration of voriconazole therapy was 93 days. At the end of therapy 26 patients (45%) had a complete or partial response. Four patients (7%) had a stable response, 25 (43%) failed therapy and 4 (7%) were discontinued from voriconazole because of intolerance. Success rates were highest in patients with chronic granulomatous disease (62%) and lowest in patients with hematologic malignancies (33%). Two patients experienced treatment-related serious adverse events (ulcerated lips with rash, elevated hepatic transaminases or bilirubin). A total of 23 patients had voriconazole-related adverse events, 3 (13%) of which caused discontinuation of voriconazole therapy. The most commonly reported adverse events included elevation in hepatic transaminases or bilirubin (n = 8), skin rash (n = 8), abnormal vision (n = 3) and a photosensitivity reaction (n = 3).

Conclusion.

These data support the use of voriconazole for treatment of invasive fungal infections in pediatric patients who are intolerant of or refractory to conventional antifungal therapy.

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