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How I treat mucormycosis.


ABSTRACT: Unlike invasive aspergillosis, the prognosis and outcome of hematologic malignancy patients who develop invasive mucormycosis have not significantly improved over the past decade as a majority of patients who develop the infection still die 12 weeks after diagnosis. However, early recognition and treatment of invasive mucormycosis syndromes, as well as individualized approaches to treatment and secondary prophylaxis, could improve the odds of survival, even in the most persistently immunosuppressed patient receiving chemotherapy and/or of stem cell transplantation. Herein, we describe the subtle clinical and radiographic clues that should alert the hematologist to the possibility of mucormycosis, and aggressive and timely treatment approaches that may limit the spread of infection before it becomes fatal. Hematology patients with this opportunistic infection require integrated care across several disciplines and frequently highly individualized and complex sequence of decision-making. We also offer perspectives for the use of 2 antifungals, amphotericin B products and posaconazole, with activity against Mucorales. The availability of posaconazole in an oral formulation that can be administered safely for prolonged periods makes it an attractive agent for long-term primary and secondary prophylaxis. However, serum drug concentration monitoring may be required to minimize breakthrough infection or relapsing mucormycosis associated with inadequate blood concentrations.

SUBMITTER: Kontoyiannis DP 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC3292433 | BioStudies | 2011-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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