Empirical Micafungin Treatment and Survival Without Invasive Fungal Infection in Adults With ICU-Acquired Sepsis, : The EMPIRICUS Randomized Clinical TrialCandida: The EMPIRICUS Randomized Clinical Trial Colonization, and Multiple Organ Failure: The EMPIRICUS Randomized Clinical Trial

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Although frequently used in treating intensive care unit (ICU) patients with sepsis, empirical antifungal therapy, initiated for suspected fungal infection, has not been shown to improve outcome.


To determine whether empirical micafungin reduces invasive fungal infection (IFI)–free survival at day 28.

Design, Setting, and Participants

Multicenter double-blind placebo-controlled study of 260 nonneutropenic, nontransplanted, critically ill patients with ICU-acquired sepsis, multiple Candida colonization, multiple organ failure, exposed to broad-spectrum antibacterial agents, and enrolled between July 2012 and February 2015 in 19 French ICUs.


Empirical treatment with micafungin (100 mg, once daily, for 14 days) (n = 131) vs placebo (n = 129).

Main Outcomes and Measures

The primary end point was survival without proven IFI 28 days after randomization. Key secondary end points included new proven fungal infections, survival at day 28 and day 90, organ failure, serum (1-3)-β-D-glucan level evolution, and incidence of ventilator-associated bacterial pneumonia.


Among 260 patients (mean age 63 years; 91 [35%] women), 251 (128, micafungin group; 123, placebo group) were included in the modified intent-to-treat analysis. Median values were 8 for Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) score, 3 for number of Candida-colonized sites, and 99 pg/mL for level of (1-3)-β-D-glucan. On day 28, there were 82 (68%) patients in the micafungin group vs 79 (60.2%) in the placebo group who were alive and IFI free (hazard ratio [HR], 1.35 [95% CI, 0.87-2.08]). Results were similar among patients with a (1-3)-β-D-glucan level of greater than 80 pg/mL (n = 175; HR, 1.41 [95% CI, 0.85-2.33]). Day-28 IFI–free survival in patients with a high SOFA score (>8) was not significantly different when compared between the micafungin vs placebo groups (HR, 1.69 [95% CI, 0.96-2.94]). Use of empirical micafungin decreased the rate of new invasive fungal infection in 4 of 128 patients (3%) in the micafungin group vs placebo (15/123 patients [12%]) (P = .008).

Conclusions and Relevance

Among nonneutropenic critically ill patients with ICU-acquired sepsis, Candida species colonization at multiple sites, and multiple organ failure, empirical treatment with micafungin, compared with placebo, did not increase fungal infection–free survival at day 28.

Trial Registration

clinicaltrials.gov Idenitfier: NCT01773876

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