Purpose: Despite antifungal prophylaxis, liver transplanted patients are endangered by invasive fungal infections (IFI). Routinely used microbiological procedures are hallmarked by significant weaknesses, which may lead to a delay in antifungal treatment.
Methods: Culture-based fungal findings, routinely used biomarkers of infection/inflammation (e.g., procalcitonin or C-reactive protein), as well as corresponding plasma concentrations of soluble Intercellular Adhesion Molecule (ICAM)-1 were analysed in 93 patients during a period of 28 days following liver transplantation (LTX).
Results: Plasmatic sICAM-1 was significantly elevated in patients affected by an IFI within the first 28 days in comparison to fungally colonised or unobtrusive LTX patients. sICAM-1 might therefore be helpful for the identification of IFI patients after LTX (e.g., Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC)-Area Under the Curve (AUC): 0.714 at 14d after LTX). The diagnostic performance of sICAM-1 was further improved by its combined use with different other IFI biomarkers (e.g., midregional proadrenomedullin).
Conclusion: The diagnostic deficiencies of routinely used microbiological procedures for IFI detection in patients after LTX may be reduced by plasmatic sICAM-1 measurements. Clinical Trial Notation. German Clinical Trials Register: DRKS00005480.
Keywords: Aspergillus spp.; Candida spp.; fungal colonisation; invasive fungal infection; liver transplantation; soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1.