From the Journals

ID consult for Candida bloodstream infections can reduce mortality risk



Clinicians managing patients who have Candida bloodstream infection should consider an infectious disease (ID) consultation, findings from a large retrospective study suggest.

GrahamColm/Wikimedia Commons

Mortality attributable to Candida bloodstream infection ranges between 15% and 47%, and delay in initiation of appropriate treatment has been associated with increased mortality. Previous small studies showed that ID consultation has conferred benefits to patients with Candida bloodstream infections. Carlos Mejia-Chew, MD, and colleagues from Washington University, St. Louis, sought to explore this further by performing a retrospective, single-center cohort study of 1,691 patients aged 18 years or older with Candida bloodstream infection from 2002 to 2015. They analyzed demographics, comorbidities, predisposing factors, all-cause mortality, antifungal use, central-line removal, and ophthalmological and echocardiographic evaluation in order to compare 90-day all-cause mortality between individuals with and without an ID consultation.

They found that those patients who received an ID consult for a Candida bloodstream infection had a significantly lower 90-day mortality rate than did those who did not (29% vs. 51%).

With a model using inverse weighting by the propensity score, they found that ID consultation was associated with a hazard ratio of 0.81 for mortality (95% confidence interval, 0.73-0.91; P less than .0001). In the ID consultation group, the median duration of antifungal therapy was significantly longer (18 vs. 14 days; P less than .0001); central-line removal was significantly more common (76% vs. 59%; P less than .0001); echocardiography use was more frequent (57% vs. 33%; P less than .0001); and ophthalmological examinations were performed more often (53% vs. 17%; P less than .0001). Importantly, fewer patients in the ID consultation group were untreated (2% vs. 14%; P less than .0001).

In an accompanying commentary, Katrien Lagrou, MD, and Eric Van Wijngaerden, MD, of the department of microbiology, immunology and transplantation, University Hospitals Leuven (Belgium) stated: “We think that the high proportion of patients (14%) with a Candida bloodstream infection who did not receive any antifungal treatment and did not have an infectious disease consultation is a particularly alarming finding. ... Ninety-day mortality in these untreated patients was high (67%).”

“We believe every hospital should have an expert management strategy addressing all individual cases of candidaemia. The need for such expert management should be incorporated in all future candidaemia management guidelines,” they concluded.

The study was funded by the Astellas Global Development Pharma, the Washington University Institute of Clinical and Translational Sciences, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Several of the authors had financial connections to Astellas Global Development or other pharmaceutical companies. Dr. Lagrou and Dr. Van Wijngaerden both reported receiving personal fees and nonfinancial support from a number of pharmaceutical companies, but all outside the scope of the study.

SOURCE: Mejia-Chew C et al. Lancet Infect Dis. 2019;19:1336-44.

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