Candidal meningitis in neonates: a 10-year review

Clin Infect Dis. 2000 Aug;31(2):458-63. doi: 10.1086/313973. Epub 2000 Aug 24.


Candidal meningitis may complicate systemic candidiasis in the premature neonate. We conducted a 10-year retrospective review of 106 cases of systemic candidiasis in neonates to define the incidence, clinical features, laboratory findings, treatment, and outcome of candidal meningitis. Twenty-three of the 106 neonates had candidal meningitis (0.4% of admissions to the neonatal intensive care unit). The median gestational age was 26.2 weeks, the median birth weight was 820 g, and the median age at the onset of illness was 8 days. Clinical disease was severe and commonly was manifested by respiratory decompensation. Findings of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analyses varied: pleocytosis was inconsistent, hypoglycorrhachia was common, gram staining was uniformly negative, and Candida was isolated from 17 neonates (74%). Each infant was treated with amphotericin B (median cumulative dose, 30 mg/kg); 5 also received flucytosine therapy. In conclusion, initial clinical features of candidal meningitis are indistinguishable from those of other causes of systemic infection in premature neonates, and normal CSF parameters do not exclude meningitis. Timely initiation of amphotericin B monotherapy was associated with an excellent outcome.

MeSH terms

  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Candida / isolation & purification
  • Candidiasis* / drug therapy
  • Candidiasis* / epidemiology
  • Candidiasis* / microbiology
  • Candidiasis* / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases* / drug therapy
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases* / microbiology
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases* / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Meningitis, Fungal* / drug therapy
  • Meningitis, Fungal* / epidemiology
  • Meningitis, Fungal* / microbiology
  • Meningitis, Fungal* / physiopathology
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Antifungal Agents