Role of fluconazole in the long-term suppressive therapy of fungal infections in patients with artificial implants

Penk, A.;Pittrow, L.

Author address: 

Penk, A, Pfizer GmbH, Dept Med, Pfizerstr 1, D-76139 Karlsruhe, Germany


With the increased use of artificial implants the management of related infections has become an important challenge. Normally an infected implant would be removed. In many cases this might be contraindicated and drug treatment remains as the only alternative. As microbiological eradication is often impossible, especially in fungal infections at artificial implants (FIAI) long-term suppressive therapy might be required. The objective of this study was to determine the therapeutic value of fluconazole (F) in the management of FIAI.Clinical data of 56 patients (pts) with proven or suspected fungal infections and artificial implants (FIAI) subsequently treated with F were analyzed retrospectively. FIAI caused by species with intrinsic resistance to F have been excluded from the study. The following implants were involved: prosthetic valve endocarditis (PVE) 25 pts (44.6%), intraocular lenses (IL) 9 pts (16.1%), ventriculoperitoneal shunts (WS) 6 pts (10.7%), knee prostheses (KP) 5 pts (8.9%), biliary stents (BS) 4 pts (7.1%), venous access devices (VAS) 3 pts (5.4%), urinary stents (US) 2 pts (3.6%), breast implant and pacemaker I patient (1.8%) each.Underlying diseases were valve insufficiency (in PVE), cataract surgery (in IL), prematurity in newborns (in VPS), arthrosis (in KP), biliary obstruction (in BS), cystic fibrosis (in VAS), and obstructive renal calculi (in US). Candida species (C. spp.) were the most frequently detected causative agents with C. parapsilosis as the leading cause (n = 19; 33.9%). Furthermore C. albicans (n = 15; 26.8%), C. spp. and fungi not further specified (n = 8; 14.3%), C. tropicalis (n = 3; 5.4%), C. glabrata (n = 3; 5.4%), and C. lusitaniae (n = 1; 1.8%) were identified. Acremonium kiliense has been detected in 4 pts (7.1%), Cryptococcus neoformans in 2 pts (3.6%). Histoplasma capsulatum was identified in 1 patient (1.8%). The maximum duration of treatment with F was lifelong with a maximum recorded duration of 4,5 years. The maximum dosage used was 750 mg/d or 50 mg/kg BW in premature infants. No major adverse events were observed.In conclusion, especially the excellent safety profile as well as the documented therapeutic experience justify the use off as long-term suppressive therapy in FIAI. Higher dosages and even life-long treatment may be needed.

abstract No: 


Full conference title: 

5th Congress of the European-Confederation-of-Medical-History/ 33th Scientific Meeting of the Deutschsprachige-Mykologische- Gesellschaft-EV
    • ECMM 5th (1999)