Background: Treatment of invasive aspergillosis is frequently unsuccessful, so innovations in therapy are needed. Clinical studies demonstrate that itraconazole may be an effective alternative to amphotericin B. Itraconazole also has been combined with amphotericin B in animal models of aspergillosis, but this regimen produced antagonistic effects.
Objectives: To determine the role of itraconazole in the adjunctive treatment of invasive aspergillosis.
Methods: A review was conducted of all patients with definite or probable aspergillosis from January 1995 to December 1997 who were treated with conventional amphotericin B alone or in combination with itraconazole.
Results: Of 21 patients, 10 received amphotericin B and 11 received the combination. The two groups of patients were comparable clinically at baseline (including similar mean APACHE III scores). Both groups received similar doses and days of amphotericin B treatment. Of the patients who received combination therapy, nine (82%) were cured or improved, and of those who received only amphotericin B, five (50%) were cured or improved.
Conclusions: This study demonstrates that itraconazole and amphotericin B given together are not clinically antagonistic and that the promise of combination therapy for aspergillosis should be evaluated further in a randomized clinical trial.