To review epidemiologic trends, advances in diagnosis and susceptibility testing, therapeutic options and guidelines, and management strategies for invasive candidiasis as relevant to the intensive care unit physician.
Nonstructured review of peer-reviewed original articles, review articles, abstracts, guidelines, and consensus statements appearing in Medline, major scientific journals, and conference proceedings.
Invasive candidiasis is a problem associated with substantial morbidity and mortality that is highly prevalent in the intensive care unit setting. Recent epidemiologic studies have shown a trend toward increasing numbers of infections and a shift toward infections caused by non-albicans Candida species. Guidelines for the management of these diseases have been published and recommend amphotericin B, fluconazole, or caspofungin as the primary therapeutic option. The choice of agent should depend on local epidemiology and patient factors. The role of newer antifungal agents for this population, such as the new azoles and echinocandins, remains to be determined. Priority areas of research include diagnostics, risk identification, and management strategy assessment such as prophylactic, preemptive, and empirical therapy.
From the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (LO-Z), Houston, TX; and University of Alabama at Birmingham (PGP), Birmingham, AL.
L.O. is a consultant, grant recipient, or speaker for Astellas, Gilead, Enzon, Merck, Vicuron, Diversa, Pfizer, Schering-Plough, Associates of Cape Cod, and Rockeby. P.G.P. is a consultant, receives grant support, and/or is a speaker for Merck, Schering-Plough, Pfizer, Enzon, Vicuron, and Astellas.