Management of Invasive Fungal Disease in Neonates and Children

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Invasive fungal diseases (IFD) are an important cause of morbidity and mortality in premature neonates and immunocompromised pediatric patients. Their diagnostic and therapeutic management remains a challenge. A nationwide survey was conducted among 13 of the largest pediatric units in the United Kingdom, to obtain insight in the current management of IFD in neonates and children. All responding centers were tertiary teaching centers. The use of fungal diagnostic tools and imaging modalities varied among centers. Antifungal prophylaxis was prescribed in most centers for extreme-low birth weight (LBW) infants and high-risk hemato-oncologic patients, but with a huge variety in antifungals given. An empirical treatment was favored by most centers in case of febrile neutropenia. First line therapy for candidemia consists of either fluconazole or liposomal amphotericin B, with voriconazole being first-line therapy for invasive aspergillosis. Disseminated invasive aspergillosis was most often mentioned as a reason to prescribe combination antifungal therapy. In conclusion, this survey reinforces the fact that there are still important aspects in the management of pediatric IFD which should ideally be addressed in pediatric clinical trials. Attention needs to be given the knowledge gaps as observed in the results of our survey to optimize the management of IFD in children and neonates.

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