A multicentre study of fluconazole versus oral polyenes in the prevention of fungal infection in children with hematological or oncological malignancies. Multicentre Study Group

Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 1994 Apr;13(4):330-7. doi: 10.1007/BF01974614.


A randomized, comparative study was conducted in 502 patients in 23 centres world-wide to assess the efficacy and safety of fluconazole versus nystatin and amphotericin B for prevention of fungal infection in a severely immunocompromised pediatric population. Patients scheduled within 48 hours to undergo chemotherapy or radiotherapy for hematological or oncological malignancies were randomly allocated to receive 3 mg/kg oral fluconazole once daily, 50,000 U/kg oral nystatin four times daily or 25 mg/kg oral amphotericin B four times daily. Prophylaxis began with the initiation of chemotherapy or radiotherapy and continued throughout a patient's hospital stay or period of neutropenia as necessary. The mean duration of fluconazole prophylaxis was 27.8 days and of the oral polyenes 29.2 days. The outcome of prophylaxis with fluconazole was significantly superior to that with the polyenes (p = 0.01). Mycologically verified infections occurred in 5 patients (2.1%) given fluconazole and in 21 (8.4%) given polyenes (p = 0.002). Clinical evaluation at the end of prophylaxis showed that the clinical outcome was definitely or possibly successful in 87% in the fluconazole group and 82% in the polyenes group with no significant differences between the treatment groups. Mycological evaluation demonstrated reduction or control of colonization in 84% in the fluconazole group and 85% in the polyenes group, again with no significant between-group differences. Possibly drug-related side effects, mainly mild to moderate gastrointestinal disturbances, were reported in 38 patients given fluconazole, with eight subsequent withdrawals, and in 21 patients given oral polyenes, with three subsequent withdrawals. Laboratory test abnormalities occurred in 28 patients given fluconazole and 24 given polyenes.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adolescent
  • Amphotericin B / therapeutic use*
  • Candida / isolation & purification*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Fluconazole / therapeutic use*
  • Hematologic Diseases / complications*
  • Humans
  • Immunocompromised Host
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Mycoses / complications
  • Mycoses / prevention & control*
  • Neoplasms / complications*
  • Nystatin / therapeutic use*


  • Nystatin
  • Amphotericin B
  • Fluconazole