Bench-to-bedside review: Therapeutic management of invasive candidiasis in the intensive care unit

Matteo Bassetti, Małgorzata Mikulska, Claudio Viscoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Candida is one of the most frequent pathogens in bloodstream infections, and is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. The epidemiology of species responsible for invasive candidiasis, both at local and worldwide levels, has been changing - shifting from Candida albicans to non-albicans species, which can be resistant to fluconazole (Candida krusei and Candida glabrata) or difficult to eradicate because of biofilm production (Candida parapsilosis). Numerous intensive care unit patients have multiple risk factors for developing this infection, which include prolonged hospitalisation, use of broad-spectrum antibiotics, presence of intravascular catheters, parenteral nutrition, high Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation score, and so forth. Moreover, delaying the specific therapy was shown to further increase morbidity and mortality. To minimise the impact of this infection, several management strategies have been developed - prophylaxis, empirical therapy, pre-emptive therapy and culture-based treatment. Compared with prophylaxis, empirical and pre-emptive approaches allow one to reduce the exposure to antifungals by targeting only the patients at high risk of candidemia, without delaying therapy until the moment blood Candida is identified in blood cultures. The agents recommended for initial treatment of candidemia in critically ill patients include echinocandins and lipid formulation of amphotericin B.

Original languageEnglish
Article number244
JournalCritical Care
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Medicine(all)


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