Objective: To obtain a score for deciding early antifungal treatment when candidal infection is suspected in nonneutropenic critically ill patients.
Design: Analysis of data collected from the database of the EPCAN project, an ongoing prospective, cohort, observational, multicenter surveillance study of fungal infection and colonization in intensive care unit (ICU) patients.
Setting: Seventy-three medical-surgical ICUs of 70 teaching hospitals in Spain.
Patients: A total of 1,699 ICU patients aged 18 yrs and older admitted for at least 7 days between May 1998 and January 1999 were studied.
Interventions: Surveillance cultures of urine, tracheal, and gastric samples were obtained weekly. Patients were grouped as follows: neither colonized nor infected (n = 719), unifocal or multifocal Candida colonization (n = 883), and proven candidal infection (n = 97). The odds ratio (OR) for each risk factor associated with colonization vs. proven candidal infection was estimated. A logistic regression model was performed to adjust for possible confounders. The “Candida score” was obtained according to the logit method. The discriminatory power was evaluated by the area under the receiver operating characteristics curve.
Measurements and main results: In the logit model, surgery (OR = 2.71, 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.45–5.06); multifocal colonization (OR = 3.04, 95% CI, 1.45–6.39); total parenteral nutrition (OR = 2.48, 95% CI, 1.16–5.31); and severe sepsis (OR = 7.68, 95% CI, 4.14–14.22) were predictors of proven candidal infection. The “Candida score” for a cut-off value of 2.5 (sensitivity 81%, specificity 74%) was as follows: parenteral nutrition, +0.908; surgery, +0.997; multifocal colonization, +1.112; and severe sepsis, +2.038. Central venous catheters were not a significant risk factor for proven candidal infection (p = .292).
Conclusions: In a large cohort of nonneutropenic critically ill patients in whom Candida colonization was prospectively assessed, a “Candida score” >2.5 accurately selected patients who would benefit from early antifungal treatment.