Fungal infections are still a relevant challenge for clinicians involved in the cure of patients with cancer. We retrospectively reviewed charts of hospitalized patients with haematological malignancies (HMs), in which a documented fungaemia was diagnosed between January 2011 and December 2015 at 28 adult and 6 paediatric Italian Hematology Departments.
During the study period, we recorded 215 fungal bloodstream infections (BSI). Microbiological analyses documented that BSI was due to moulds in 17 patients (8%) and yeasts in 198 patients (92%), being Candida spp identified in 174 patients (81%).
Mortality rates were 70% and 39% for mould and yeast infections, respectively. Infection was the main cause of death in 53% of the mould and 18% of the yeast groups. At the multivariate analysis, ECOG ≥ 2 and septic shock were significantly associated with increased mortality, and removal of central venous catheter (CVC) survival was found to be protective. When considering patients with candidemia only, ECOG ≥ 2 and removal of CVC were statistically associated with overall mortality.
Although candidemia represents a group of BSI with a good prognosis, its risk factors largely overlap with those identified for all fungaemias, even though the candidemia-related mortality is lower when compared to other fungal BSI. Management of fungal BSI is still a complex issue, in which both patients and disease characteristics should be focused to address a personalized approach.
- acute leukaemias