Early empiric antifungal therapy of infections in neutropenic patients comparing fluconazole with amphotericin B/flucytosine.
Author(s): Silling G, Fegeler W, Roos N, Essink M, Buchner T
Affiliation(s): Department of Internal Medicine, University of Munster, Germany.
Publication date & source: 1999, Mycoses., 42 Suppl 2:101-4.
Publication type: Clinical Trial; Randomized Controlled Trial
We compared the efficacy and tolerability of fluconazole (FCA) with amphotericin B/flucytosine (ABF) in neutropenic patients with haematological malignancies. Antifungal therapy started on day 4 when fever was unresponsive to antibiotics or on day 1 together with the antibiotics, if there was evidence of mycosis. If patients did not respond to FCA after 7 days they switched to ABF. 98 patients, 51 FCA and 47 ABF were included in the study. Response to fever was achieved in 28/51 FCA patients and in another 16 after switching to ABF. So in overall 44/51 (86.2%) of the FCA and 37/47 (78.8%) of the ABF group defervescence was observed. 46 patients (21 FCA, 25 ABF) developed radiological signs of pneumonia. Resolution of infiltrates was achieved in 5/21 FCA and 20/25 ABF patients, and another 10 of 15 initially not responding patients showed regression when switched to ABF, 5 of these had highly suspected aspergillosis. Adverse events occurred in 19.6% of FCA and 97.9% of ABF patients. In conclusion fluconazole and amphotericin B/flucytosine seem to be equally effective. In view of its lower toxicity fluconazole may be preferred as first line empiric antifungal agent, but in case of nonresponse, pneumonia or aspergillosis it may be replaced by amphotericin B combined with flucytosine.