Candida endocarditis in neonates: report of five cases and review of the literature


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Abstract

SummaryCandidal endocarditis is an uncommon and serious complication of invasive Candida infection in neonates. The aim of this study was to further characterise candidal endocarditis in neonates. Between 1995 and 2000, 56 patients were diagnosed with Candida bloodstream infections (CBSI) in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of Schneider Children's Medical Center of Israel. Five of them (9%) developed mycetoma of the right atrium. None of the patients had congenital heart disease or a central venous catheter in the right heart at the time of diagnosis. All were treated with amphotericin B alone or in combination with other antifungals, without surgical intervention. One patient died of the disease and one died later of polymicrobial sepsis and necrotizing enterocolitis. A review of the literature since 1980 yielded an additional 25 cases of candidal endocarditis. For the whole sample (n = 30) survival rate was 73.1%. Six of the 10 patients treated with antifungal agents and surgery survived (60%), compared with 13 of the 20 patients treated only medically (65%) (P = 1.0). Candida endocarditis in neonates differs from fungal endocarditis in adults in risk factors, clinical presentation and outcome. As the outcome of surgical and medical treatment are comparable, antifungal therapy alone may be a valid therapeutic option in high-risk cases.

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