Objectives: To evaluate the benefit of fluconazole prophylaxis in preventing invasive fungal infection in very low birth weight (VLBW) infants with central vascular access.
Study design: A 3-year baseline period (1998 to 2000) was compared with a subsequent 3-year period (2001 to 2003) during which a different protocol for preventing invasive fungal infection was used. All infants with a birth weight < 1500 g and with central vascular access were eligible for the study. Fluconazole (Diflucan R) was administered for 28 days at a dose of 6 mg/kg every third day during the first week and daily after the first week.
Results: There were no significant differences between the baseline and the fluconazole groups in demographic characteristics or risk factors for fungal infection. Fungal infection developed in 9 of the infants in the baseline group and in none of those in the fluconazole group (P=.003). A trend of decreasing mortality rate between the 2 groups (12.6% vs 8.1%; P=.32) was observed but was not statistically significant. No adverse effects of fluconazole therapy were documented.
Conclusions: Fluconazole prophylaxis appeared to be beneficial in preventing invasive fungal infection in VLBW infants.