, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 39-43

Hematogenous trichosporonosis in cancer patients: report of 12 cases including 5 during prophylaxis with itraconazol

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Abstract

Twelve cases of Trichosporon spp. fungemias occurring in a national cancer institution within 10 years are described. The trend of hematogenous trichosporonosis within the last 10 years is increasing. While no cases occurred in 1988–1991, after 1991, Trichosporon spp. was the most common species among non-Candida spp. fungemias in 1993–1997. The 12 cases of fungemia included 5 that started while the patients were receiving prophylaxis with oral itraconazole, and 2 appeared despite empiric therapy with amphotericin B. Five of the 12 fungemias were catheter associated. Risk factors for fungemia were: central venous catheter, broad-spectrum antibiotics (third-generation cephalosporins plus aminoglycoside); all but 1 had neutropenia and were receiving antineoplastic chemotherapy. All but 2 of the patients died of systemic fungal infection (83.3% mortality). Amphotericin B was administered to all but 1 patient, who was not treated because he died the day after his culture was found to be positive for T. beigelii, before antifungals were administered. All cases infected with T. pullulans were catheter related, and all these patients died. One of the remaining 9 fungemias was caused by T. capitatum (Blastoschizomyces capitatus), and 8 by T. beigelii. Only 2 patients were cured, 1 with a combination therapy with amphotericin B plus fluconazole, and 1 with amphotericin B monotherapy. Several risk factors (neutropenia, acute leukemia, prior therapy or prophylaxis with antifungals and catheter as source of fungemia, breakthrough fungemia) were significantly associated with Trichosporon spp. fungemia, in comparison to 63 C. albicans candidemia occurring in the same period at the same institution. Attributable mortality of hematogenous trichosporonosis was also significantly higher (83.3% vs 15.8%, P<0.001) than that of hematogenous candidiasis.