Epidemiology and treatment approaches in management of invasive fungal infections in hematological malignancies: Results from a single-centre study

Nicola Stefano Fracchiolla, Mariarita Sciumè, Nicola Orofino, Francesca Guidotti, Anna Grancini, Fabrizio Cavalca, Alessandra Freyrie, Maria Cecilia Goldaniga, Dario Consonni, Veronica Mattiello, Loredana Pettine, Agostino Cortelezzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Invasive fungal infections (IFIs) are a leading cause of morbidity and attributable mortality in oncohematologic patients. Timely diagnosis is essential but challenging. Herein we retrospectively describe 221 cases of antifungal treatments (AFT) administered in a monocentric real-life cohort of hematological malignancies. Between January 2010 and July 2017, 196 oncohematologic patients were treated with AFT at our Hematology Department. Diagnosis of IFIs was carried out according to EORTC/MSG-2008 guidelines.The most represented disease was acute myeloid leukemia (104 patients). Median age was 61 years; at fever onset 177 (80%) patients had a neutrophil count<0.5x10 9 /L. Twenty-nine (13%) patients were receiving antifungal prophylaxis (26 posaconazole, 2 fluconazole, 1 itraconazole). The incidence of AFT was 13%. Serum galactomannan antigen (GM) was positive in 20% of the tested cases, while 85% of the patients had a CT scan suggestive for IFI. Twenty-one percent of these cases had a GM positive. Sixty-five out of 196 patients (33%) showed positive culture results, in particular Candida spp. were identified in 45 isolates, while Aspergillus spp. in 16 cases. Fourteen patients presented multiple positivity. Twenty-two (10%) cases were classified as proven IFIs, 61 (28%) as probable and 81 (37%) as possible, but 57 (26%) cases could not be classified. Fifty-nine percent of the patients received single agent AFT, 37% sequential AFT, 8% a combination regimen. Liposomal-amphotericin-B was the most used AFT. IFIs attributable mortality was 20%. This epidemiologic survey underlined a persistent significant use of AFT and a high mortality rate of IFIs. We suggest that further powerful diagnostic approaches should be investigated to improve the diagnostic accuracy and potential therapeutic implication.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0216715
JournalPLoS One
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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