We reviewed the clinical courses of 63 surgical patients who had experienced one or more days of fungemia, to determine the clinical setting for such infections and to define indications for systemic therapy. Fifty-one patients experienced fungemia as a late complication of intraperitoneal infection. Candida was identified as part of a polymicrobial flora in 70%. If untreated, the mortality was 83% (30 of 36). No untreated patients with fungemia for more than one day survived. Adequate therapy with amphotericin B (total dose, greater than 3 mg/kg) improved survival to 67% (ten of 15). Autopsies performed in 20 cases revealed visceral Candida microabscesses in seven, with the gastrointestinal tract (12) and intraabdominal abscess (five) as the most common sources of fungi. These data support the concept of Candida as an important participant in polymicrobial infection and recommend therapy with amphotericin B for patients with intraperitoneal infection experiencing fungemia.