Secondary antifungal prophylaxis in allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients with invasive fungal infection

J Infect Dev Ctries. 2018 Sep 30;12(9):799-805. doi: 10.3855/jidc.9961.


Introduction: Invasive fungal infection (IFI) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) recipients. A previous history of IFI is not an absolute contraindication for allo-HSCT, particularly in the era of secondary antifungal prophylaxis (SAP). Prompt diagnosis and therapy are essential for HSCT outcome.

Methodology: The charts of 58 allo-HSCT recipients [median age:29.5 (16-62); M/F:41/17] who had a previous history of IFI were retrospectively reviewed.

Results: Possible IFI was demonstrated in 32 (55.2%), probable in 13 (22.4%) and proven in 13 patients (22.4%). All patients received SAP [liposomal amphoterisin B (n ꞊ 35), voriconazole (n ꞊ 17), caspofungin (n ꞊ 2), posaconazole (n ꞊ 1), combination therapy (n = 3)] which was started on the first day of the conditioning regimen. Treatment success was better in the voriconazole group when compared to the amphotericin B arm (100% vs 69.2%; p = 0.029). Development of breakthrough IFI was more frequent in patients on amphotericin B prophylaxis (42.4% vs 23.1%; p = 0.036). Clinical and radiological response were achieved in 13 of 18 patients (72.2%) who developed breakthrough infection. Overall survival of the study population was 13.5% at a median follow-up of 154 (7-3285) days. Fungal mortality was found to be 23%. Overall survival was better in the voriconazole arm, without statistical significance (90% vs 65.8%, p > 0.05).

Conclusions: Secondary antifungal prophylaxis is considered to be an indispensible strategy in patients with pre-HSCT IFI history. Voriconazole seems to be a relatively better alternative despite an underlying necessity of larger prospective trials.

Keywords: amphotericin B; antifungal prophylaxis; invasive fungal infection; voriconazole.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Allografts
  • Amphotericin B / therapeutic use
  • Antibiotic Prophylaxis / methods
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Caspofungin / therapeutic use
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation / mortality
  • Humans
  • Invasive Fungal Infections / etiology
  • Invasive Fungal Infections / prevention & control*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Triazoles / therapeutic use
  • Voriconazole / therapeutic use
  • Young Adult


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Triazoles
  • liposomal amphotericin B
  • posaconazole
  • Amphotericin B
  • Caspofungin
  • Voriconazole