Refractory neonatal candidemia and high-dose micafungin pharmacotherapy

G. Natarajan, M. Lulic-Botica, J. V. Aranda

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Objective: Preterm neonates with candidemia frequently have persistently positive blood cultures, despite the use of conventional antifungal therapy. Our institutional treatment protocol for invasive candidiasis incorporates lipid complex amphotericin B as initial therapy with the sequential addition of fluconazole and high-dose micafungin (10 mg kg-1) every 48 to 72h, if cultures from a sterile site remain positive. Our study objectives were to compare the clinical profiles and outcomes of preterm neonates with candidemia that responded to or were refractory to conventional antifungals. We further evaluate the clinical efficacy of high-dose micafungin pharmacotherapy of refractory candidemia. Study Design: A chart review was performed on preterm infants (n=29) with invasive candidiasis and demographic, microbiologic and outcome data abstracted. Proportions and continuous variables were compared between the groups using Fisher's exact two-tailed test and t-test. Result: The refractory (n = 19) candidemia and early responder (n = 10) groups had comparable mean (± s.d.) gestation, 27(± 3.1) vs 27.8 (± 2.7) weeks. The refractory group was administered antibiotics for a longer duration, 14.5 (± 10.3) vs 7.1 (± 5) days, had a preponderance of non-albicans infections, 11 (57.9%) vs 1 (10%) and were on enteral feeds > 20 ml kg-1 day-1 significantly less often (21 vs 70%). Mortality was significantly higher (53 vs 20%) and fungal clearance rates lower (63.1 vs 90%), with a longer duration to clearance in the group with refractory candidemia. Mean aspartate aminotransferase (AST) showed a statistically significant increase following micafungin treatment, although clinical significance remains unclear. Conclusion: Candidemia refractory to conventional antifungals is associated with prolonged antibiotic use, lack of enteral nutritive feeds and non-albicans infection. Despite high-dose micafungin pharmacotherapy in combination with conventional antifungals, infants with refractory candidemia had high mortality and poor fungal clearance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)738-743
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Perinatology
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2009


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