Objectives: To evaluate the morbidity and mortality of Candida fungemia and to assess the efficacy of low- vs high-dose amphotericin B and fluconazole vs amphotericin B in patients with candidemia.
Methods: Multicenter, prospective, observational study of 427 consecutive patients with candidemia.
Results: The mortality rate for patients with candidemia was 34%. The mortality rate for patients with catheter-related candidemia in whom the catheters were retained was significantly higher than that of patients in whom the catheters were removed (41% vs 21%, P < .001). We found no overall difference in mortality in patients treated with low-dose (total amphotericin B dose of < or = 500 mg) (13%) vs high-dose amphotericin B (total amphotericin B dose of > 500 mg) (15%), but the group treated with a low dose had fewer side effects (40%) than those treated with a high dose (55%) (P = .03). Fluconazole was as efficacious as amphotericin B in the therapy of candidemia, even when stratified by risk factors for mortality. Fewer side effects were seen with fluconazole (12%) compared with amphotericin B (44%) (P < .001).
Conclusions: In selected patients with candidemia, low-dose amphotericin B was as efficacious as high-dose amphotericin B. Based on other studies and ours, fluconazole seems to be an alternative therapeutic option to amphotericin B in selected patients.