Aim: To assess the rate of candidaemia and the associated case fatality rate in relation to gestational age, and the variation in the rate of candidaemia over time in the neonatal period.
Methods: Retrospective review of medical records of infants with a positive blood culture for fungi while in the neonatal unit, Uppsala University Children's Hospital or at autopsy following death in the unit from 1994 to 2001 (n = 30).
Results: The number of cases per year was found to vary between zero and eight. The annual rate of infection did not change significantly during the study period. The preterm infants with candidaemia (n = 29) were born at a gestational age ranging from 23-28 wk. The rate of candidaemia in this group was inversely related to gestational age and varied from 2 to 24%. Five infants (17%) died from Candida infection. Of these five, four were born at a gestational age of 23 wk.
Conclusion: candidaemia in newborns occurs predominately in infants born at a gestational age < or =28 wk, where the rate of infection is inversely correlated to gestational age in infants born at a gestational age of 23-28 wk. The highest case fatality rate is observed in infants born at a gestational age of 23 wk.