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Esophageal candidiasis and Candida colonization in asthma patients on inhaled steroids

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The aim of this study was to evaluate the risk of esophageal candidiasis in asthma patients who are on inhaled steroids without any other risk factors for esophageal candidiasis by comparing the treatment group with the control group. Moreover, the oropharyngeal and esophageal Candida colonizations were evaluated in the subgroups of both control and treatment groups. Upper gastrointestinal system endoscopic evaluation was performed in 40 asthma patients who were on inhaled steroids for at least 1 month. The control group consisted of 40 steroid naïve patients without asthma. Oral and esophageal samples were obtained for performing quantitative culture. Candida growth in cultures without any clinical signs and symptoms was described as colonization. Candida growth accompanied by clinical signs and symptoms was described as infection. None of the patients in the control group had either esophageal or oropharyngeal candidiasis; however, one (2.5%) asthma patient had esophageal candidiasis and two (5%) asthma patients had oropharyngeal candidiasis. Esophageal and oropharyngeal Candida colonization was determined in 5 (22.7%) and 11 (50%) of the asthma patients and 7 (31%) and 9 (41%) of the control group, respectively. Although the mean numbers of Candida colonies were higher in the asthma group in both localizations, there were no statistically significant differences between the two groups regarding esophageal or oropharyngeal Candida colonization. The risk of esophageal candidiasis due to inhaled steroids is low and inhaled steroids may be used safely in terms of esophageal candidiasis. Future prospective studies are needed to draw more definitive conclusions.

Keywords: Adverse drug reaction; Candida; asthma; colonization; esophageal candidiasis; inhaled steroids; oropharyngeal candidiasis

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: From the Department Pulmonary Medicine, 2: Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, and 3: Department of Microbiology, Gazi University School of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey

Publication date: September 1, 2007

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  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

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    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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