Spontaneous fungal peritonitis: a devastating complication of cirrhosis

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SummarySpontaneous bacterial peritonitis is a well-known complication of cirrhosis; however, spontaneous fungal peritonitis (SFP) is less well-recognised and described. Our objective was to determine the clinical characteristics, treatment outcomes and factors associated with death among patients with SFP. We performed a retrospective cohort study using the primary outcome of all-cause mortality at 28 days. Twenty-five patients were included; Candida species were the causative pathogen in all cases. At the onset of SFP, patients were critically ill, median APACHE II and MELD scores were 22 and 30.3, respectively. The 28-day mortality rate was 56%; six patients died prior to culture positivity. Among the remaining patients, there were no differences in rates of death by treatment regimen (P = 0.55). APACHE II score at the onset of SFP was an independent predictor of death (OR = 1.46, 95% CI = 1.02–2.08, P = 0.04). In conclusion, SFP develops among critically ill patients with cirrhosis and is associated with high rates of death. Directed antifungal therapy did not improve patient outcomes. Future studies assessing the benefit of early or pre-emptive antifungal therapy are warranted.

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