continuous versus conventional infusion of amphotericin B deoxycholate: a meta-analysis

PLoS One. 2013 Oct 21;8(10):e77075. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0077075. eCollection 2013.


Background: Treatment with Amphotericin B (AmB) deoxycholate, which is still used widely, particularly in low-resource countries, has been challenged due to nephrotoxicity. We sought to study whether continuous infusion of AmB deoxycholate reduces nephrotoxicity retaining, however, the effectiveness of the drug.

Methods: PubMed and Scopus databases were systematically searched to identify studies comparing the outcomes of patients receiving 24-h infusion of AmB ("continuous group") and those receiving 2-6-h infusion of AmB ("conventional group"). Nephrotoxicity and all-cause mortality were the primary outcomes of the review, while treatment failure was the secondary outcome.

Results: Five studies met the inclusion criteria; one randomized controlled trial, two prospective cohort studies, and two retrospective cohort studies. The majority of patients were neutropenic with an underlying hematologic malignancy. All 5 studies (392 patients) provided data regarding the development of nephrotoxicity. A non-significant trend towards lower nephrotoxicity was observed for patients receiving continuous infusion of AmB compared with those receiving conventional infusion [RR = 0.61 (95% CI 0.36, 1.02)]. Four studies (365 patients) provided data regarding mortality; no relevant difference was detected between patients receiving continuous and those receiving conventional infusion of AmB [RR = 0.81 (95% CI 0.36, 1.83)]. Data on treatment failure of the two methods of administration was insufficient for meaningful conclusions.

Conclusion: The available evidence from mainly non-randomized studies suggests that continuous infusion of AmB deoxycholate might offer an advantage over the conventional infusion regarding the development of nephrotoxicity, without compromising patient survival. Further randomized studies are needed to investigate this issue.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Amphotericin B / administration & dosage
  • Amphotericin B / adverse effects
  • Amphotericin B / therapeutic use*
  • Antifungal Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antifungal Agents / adverse effects
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Deoxycholic Acid / administration & dosage
  • Deoxycholic Acid / adverse effects
  • Deoxycholic Acid / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Combinations
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / complications
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intravenous / methods
  • Kidney Diseases / chemically induced
  • Mycoses / complications
  • Mycoses / drug therapy*
  • Neutropenia / chemically induced
  • Prospective Studies
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Drug Combinations
  • Deoxycholic Acid
  • Amphotericin B
  • amphotericin B, deoxycholate drug combination

Grants and funding

The authors have no support or funding to report.