Candida colonization in patients with esophageal disease: A prospective clinical study

Luigi Bonavina, R. Incarbone, M. Reitano, A. Tortorano, M. Viviani, A. Peracchia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The incidence of Candida infection has significantly increased over the recent years, becoming the fourth most common pathogens isolated in patients admitted to intensive care units (ICU). Mortality rates ranging between 6 and 38% have been reported to be associated with candidemia. Esophageal surgery may increase the risk of systemic Candida infection in critical patients requiring postoperative ICU admission. The aim of the present study was to assess the prevalence of Candida colonization in patients with esophageal disease undergoing surgery. Between April 1999 and April 2001, 131 patients with esophageal disease and 40 healthy volunteers were prospectively tested for Candida colonization by oral and pharyngeal swab. Candida colonization was significantly more frequent in patients with esophageal disease than in control subjects (38.9 vs 7.5%, P <0.01); the prevalence was higher in individuals with carcinoma than in those with benign disease (51.8 vs 24%, P <0.02), and in patients undergoing neoadjuvant chemoradiation therapy, compared to those having primary surgery (55.5 vs 34.4%, P <0.01). These data suggest that Candida colonization of the gastrointestinal tract is common in patients with esophageal disease. Pharmacological attempts to prevent or reduce the magnitude of this event may be worthwhile before surgery. However, the hypothesis that antifungal oral prophylaxis with nonabsorbable drugs may lower the incidence of candidemia in patients with gastrointestinal Candida colonization, especially in those candidates to postoperative ICU admission, should be tested by randomized double-blinded studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-72
Number of pages3
JournalDiseases of the Esophagus
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • Candida albicans
  • Carcinoma
  • Esophagus
  • Intensive care
  • Neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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