Deoxycholate amphotericin B and nephrotoxicity in the pediatric setting

Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2014 Aug;33(8):e198-206. doi: 10.1097/INF.0000000000000299.


Since the introduction of amphotericin B as an antifungal agent, the morbidity and mortality of pediatric patients with mycotic infections have increased, primarily because of the increased immunocompromised patients. Despite the fact that deoxycholate amphotericin B was once the primary drug used for mycotic infections, its administration to children older than neonates is currently controversial because of its nephrotoxic effects. Three lipid-associated formulations have been developed and have reportedly shown similar efficacy and fewer nephrotoxic effects in adults than conventional amphotericin B, but the conclusions from comparative studies in children evaluating the nephrotoxicity risks of the 4 agents are controversial. Nevertheless, guidelines favor liposomal or lipid complex amphotericin B when polyene antifungal therapy is recommended in this age group. However, high acquisition costs often preclude their prescription in economically poor regions. Thus, physicians must consider all of these factors when determining the most cost-effective polyene antifungal treatment for their pediatric patients. This is particularly pertinent in developing countries where resources are scarce. Adjuvant sodium supplementation has been reported to be effective in protecting kidney function in extremely low birth weight infants prescribed deoxycholate amphotericin B. Further pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic studies of the drug in children could also provide information for rational dosing regimens designed to decrease nephrotoxicity. Conventional amphotericin B, with appropriate kidney protective measures, still plays a role in the treatment of empiric invasive mycotic infections in most pediatric patients. Liposomal and lipid complex amphotericin B should be reserved for those receiving long-term nephrotoxic agents or with altered renal function or disease. Antifungal susceptibility, renal compromise and the clinical status of the patient should determine treatment for culture-proven infections. Under the current cost limitations, undertaking and evaluating low-cost, kidney-sparing, deoxycholate amphotericin B treatments for children should be a primary concern.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Amphotericin B / administration & dosage*
  • Amphotericin B / adverse effects*
  • Antifungal Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Antifungal Agents / adverse effects*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Deoxycholic Acid / administration & dosage*
  • Deoxycholic Acid / adverse effects*
  • Drug Combinations
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Kidney Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Mycoses / drug therapy


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