Echinocandin to fluconazole step-down therapy in critically ill patients with invasive, susceptible Candida albicans infections
Mycoses , Volume 59 - Issue 3 p. 179- 185
Invasive Candida spp. infections are increasingly diagnosed in critically ill patients. For initial treatment, an echinocandin is recommended with a possible step-down to fluconazole when the patients' condition is improving and the isolate appears susceptible, but there are no data to support such policy. We studied the safety and efficacy of step-down therapy in critically ill patients with culture proven deep seated or bloodstream infections by C. albicans susceptible to fluconazole. All patients admitted into the intensive care unit from January 2010 to December 2014, who had a culture proven invasive C. albicans infection and received initial treatment with an echinocandin for at least 4 days were included. Data on patient characteristics, treatment and vital outcomes were assessed. Of the 56 patients, 32 received step-down fluconazole therapy, at median day 5, whereas the echinocandin was continued in the other 24. No differences where seen in baseline characteristics or risk factors for invasive C. albicans infection between the two groups. Response rates were similar and no difference where seen in 28-day or 90-day mortality between the groups. Step-down therapy to fluconazole may be safe and effective in critically ill patients with invasive infections by C. albicans, susceptible to fluconazole, who have clinically improved as early as 4 days after start of treatment with an echinocandin.