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A rescue therapy with a combination of caspofungin and liposomal amphotericin B or voriconazole in children with haematological malignancy and refractory invasive fungal infections

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Summary

Combination treatment of paediatric invasive fungal infections (IFIs) has rarely been reported. A total of 17 children with 19 IFI episodes were enrolled in the study. The median age of the patients was 5.3 (range 0.5–17) years. IFI was classified as proven in 4, probable in 12 and possible in 3 episodes. These patients received empiric antifungal treatment, which consisted of liposomal amphotericin B (LAmB) monotherapy for a median duration of 12 days (range 3–69 days). All patients were refractory to LAmB; therefore, caspofungin was added to the therapy in 11 patients. In the remaining six patients, LAmB was ceased and a combination of caspofungin and voriconazole was started. Among the patients who received caspofungin + LAmB, four did not show favourable response and the combination was switched to caspofungin + voriconazole. The median (range) and total duration of the therapy were 7 (3–14) days and 91 patient days for LAmB + caspofungin combination and 49 (7–126) days and 516 patient days for caspofungin + voriconazole combination. We found a favourable response rate of 68.4% in 16 proven or probable IFI episodes. Twelve-week survival rate of these patients was 75%. No serious side effect was observed among the patients. Our data suggest that combination antifungal therapy is safe and effective in children with haematological malignancies.
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Keywords: Combined antifungal therapy; caspofungin; children; haematologic malignancy; invasive fungal infection; voriconazole

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Pediatric Hematology Department, Ege University School of Medicine, Izmir, Turkey 2: Ege University School of Medicine, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Izmir, Turkey

Publication date: May 1, 2011

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