Drug-Induced Liver Injury (DILI) With Micafungin: The Importance of Causality Assessment

Ann Pharmacother. 2020 Jun;54(6):526-532. doi: 10.1177/1060028019892587. Epub 2019 Dec 1.


Background: Micafungin is increasingly used in the treatment and prevention of candidiasis in hospitalized patients. Limited data are available from which to assess the risk of drug-induced liver injury (DILI) with micafungin. No studies, to date, have applied a standardized causality assessment method to the study of micafungin-associated DILI. Objective: This study aimed to identify the frequency and clinical pattern of DILI in micafungin-treated patients as determined using 2 standardized causality assessment algorithms. Methods: A retrospective analysis was conducted of micafungin-treated patients at a single center between May 15, 2017, and May 15, 2018. DILI was defined on the basis of liver test elevations and the presence of associated signs and symptoms. The Roussel UClaf Causality Assessment Method (RUCAM) and the Naranjo algorithm were applied to each case. Results: A total of 99 patients were assessed; 52 were excluded, with a final sample of 47 evaluable patients. The definition of DILI was met in 9 (19%) patients, with a clinical pattern consistent with cholestatic injury in 7 of 9 (78%) patients. No cases were associated with jaundice. Agreement between the 2 causality assessment methods occurred in 4 of 9 (44%) cases. Application of the RUCAM algorithm led to the exclusion of 4 cases, resulting in a final reported prevalence of micafungin-associated DILI of 10.6%. Conclusion and Relevance: Asymptomatic DILI was identified in 10.6% of micafungin-treated patients. The choice of a causality assessment nomogram substantially influenced the determination of DILI prevalence. Compared with the Naranjo algorithm, the RUCAM algorithm is recommended as a more precise tool of assessing the relationship between drug exposure and DILI.

Keywords: causality assessment; echinocandin; liver diseases; liver injury; micafungin.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Antifungal Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antifungal Agents / adverse effects*
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury* / epidemiology
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury* / etiology
  • Duration of Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Liver Function Tests
  • Micafungin / administration & dosage
  • Micafungin / adverse effects*
  • Micafungin / therapeutic use
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Micafungin