Although breakthrough mucormycosis (BT-MCR) is known to develop on mold-active antifungals without Mucorales activity, it can also occur while on Mucorales-active antifungals. Herein, we retrospectively compared the characteristics and outcomes of patients with hematologic malignancies (HMs) or hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) who developed BT-MCR on mold-active antifungals with or without Mucorales activity. Of the patients developing BT-MCR, 16 were on Mucorales-active antifungals (9 isavuconazole, 6 posaconazole, 1 amphotericin B), and 87 were on other mold-active agents (52 voriconazole, 22 echinocandins, 8 itraconazole, 5 echinocandin + voriconazole). Both groups were largely comparable in clinical characteristics. Patients developing BT-MCR while on Mucorales-active antifungals had higher 42-day mortality, from either symptom onset (63% versus 25%, p = 0.006) or treatment initiation (69% versus 39%, p = 0.028). In multivariate Cox regression analysis, exposure to Mucorales-active antifungals prior to BT-MCR had a hazard ratio of 2.40 (p = 0.015) for 42-day mortality from treatment initiation and 4.63 (p < 0.001) for 42-day mortality from symptom onset. Intensive care unit (ICU) admission and APACHE II score at diagnosis, non-recovered severe neutropenia, active HM, and amphotericin B/caspofungin combination treatment were additional independent predictors of 42-day mortality. In summary, BT-MCR on Mucorales-active antifungals portrays poor prognosis in HM/HSCT patients. Moreover, improvements in early diagnosis and treatment are urgently needed in these patients.
Keywords: antifungal therapy; breakthrough mold infection; hematologic malignancy; mortality; mucormycosis.