Background: Triazole resistance is an increasing problem in invasive aspergillosis (IA). Small case series show mortality rates of 50%-100% in patients infected with a triazole-resistant Aspergillus fumigatus, but a direct comparison with triazole-susceptible IA is lacking.
Methods: A 5-year retrospective cohort study (2011-2015) was conducted to compare mortality in patients with voriconazole-susceptible and voriconazole-resistant IA. Aspergillus fumigatus culture-positive patients were investigated to identify patients with proven, probable, and putative IA. Clinical characteristics, day 42 and day 90 mortality, triazole-resistance profiles, and antifungal treatments were investigated.
Results: Of 196 patients with IA, 37 (19%) harbored a voriconazole-resistant infection. Hematological malignancy was the underlying disease in 103 (53%) patients, and 154 (79%) patients were started on voriconazole. Compared with voriconazole-susceptible cases, voriconazole resistance was associated with an increase in overall mortality of 21% on day 42 (49% vs 28%; P = .017) and 25% on day 90 (62% vs 37%; P = .0038). In non-intensive care unit patients, a 19% lower survival rate was observed in voriconazole-resistant cases at day 42 (P = .045). The mortality in patients who received appropriate initial voriconazole therapy was 24% compared with 47% in those who received inappropriate therapy (P = .016), despite switching to appropriate antifungal therapy after a median of 10 days.
Conclusions: Voriconazole resistance was associated with an excess overall mortality of 21% at day 42 and 25% at day 90 in patients with IA. A delay in the initiation of appropriate antifungal therapy was associated with increased overall mortality.
Keywords: Aspergillus fumigatus; invasive aspergillosis; mortality; voriconazole resistance.
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