Impact of fluconazole versus posaconazole prophylaxis on the incidence of fungal infections in patients receiving induction chemotherapy for acute myeloid leukemia

Biomed J. May-Jun 2015;38(3):235-43. doi: 10.4103/2319-4170.143491.


Background: Invasive fungal infections (IFIs) remain one of the worrying complications in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) due to their incidence and high level of attributable mortality. In light of these risks, antifungal prophylaxis has always been debated. We conducted a single-center retrospective study of two prophylactic antifungal agents (fluconazole/posaconazole) in 91 consecutive patients receiving induction chemotherapy for AML between 2005 and 2009, in order to evaluate the impact on the incidence of IFI and on the mycological flora of the patients.

Methods: In total, 39 patients received prophylactic fluconazole versus 52 who received posaconazole. The baseline characteristics of the two groups were comparable.

Results: Overall, 17 patients developed an IFI, with no difference in frequency between the two groups. Utilization of empirical or pre-emptive therapy was similar irrespective of the type of prophylaxis used. Mycological examination of stools revealed an increase in non-albicans Candida colonization in the fluconazole group during hospitalization and the appearance of Saccharomyces cerevisiae colonization in patients receiving posaconazole.

Conclusion: The present study does not distinguish between fluconazole and posaconazole as a primary effective prevention against fungal infections. More prospective studies and meta-analyses are warranted.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Fluconazole / adverse effects
  • Fluconazole / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Induction Chemotherapy*
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute / complications
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute / drug therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mycoses / drug therapy*
  • Mycoses / epidemiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Triazoles / adverse effects
  • Triazoles / therapeutic use*
  • Young Adult


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Triazoles
  • posaconazole
  • Fluconazole