Antifungal prophylaxis during neutropenia or allogeneic bone marrow transplantation: What is the state of the art? ad hoc working group

D. W. Denning, J. P. Donnelly, K. P. Hellreigel, J. Ito, P. Martino, J. W. Van't Wout

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Neutropenia induced by intensive chemotherapy and allogeneic bone marrow transplantation arc increasingly commonly complicated by fungal infections; thus prophylaxis may be justified. The authors surveyed the literature and culled their experience - few randomized trials have been done and definitions have often been poor. In prophylaxis of mucosal candidosis, miconazole and clotrimazole may both be more effective than placebo. Nystatin is ineffective and keto-conazole of medicine efficacy. Fluconazole is effective at 50 mg/day and 400 mg/day. Itraconazole and amphotericin B both need further evaluation. In prevention of systemic candidosis, oral nystatin prophylaxis, up to 4 X I06 U/day, is usually unsuccessful, though compliance is variable. Oral amphotericin B in low doses is ineffective, but 50 mg or more 4 times daily may prevent systemic candidosis, though compliance is variable. Oral ketoconazole, 400-600 mg/day, is possibly effective prophylaxis in neutropenia but not after bone marrow transplantation; liver function (often abnormal in these patients) is a problem, as is tolerability. Oral fluconazole is well tolerated, has reliable serum concentrations and is effective following bone marrow transplantation, but the optimum dose is uncertain. In bone marrow transplantation, intravenous amphotericin B. 0.1 mg/kg/day, appears to be effective: there are no data in neutropenia. Oral itraconazole (capsules. 200 mg/day) may be active; data are scanty. In prevention of invasive aspergillosis, itraconazole, 200 mg/day, is probably active, but only if adequate serum concentrations are achieved. New oral and intravenous itraconazole formulations in cyclodextrin may achieve more reliable serum concentrations. No oral drug provides effective prophylaxis against Torulopsis. Fusahum. Trichosporon. or Pseudal-lescheria. Secondary prophylaxis (prevention of recurrence of documented infection during later episodes of neutropenia or allogeneic bone marrow transplantation) with intravenous amphotericin B, I mg/kg/day, or oral itraconazole for invasive aspergillosis has been effective during neutropenia. as has surgical resection. Well-designed, randomized studies are clearly needed to define more clearly the relative place of each agent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-49
Number of pages7
Issue numberSupplement 1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1992


  • Disseminated candidosis
  • Invasive aspergillosis
  • Mucosal candidosis
  • Prophylaxis


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