New therapies for fungal pneumonia.

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New therapies for fungal pneumonia.

Curr Opin Infect Dis. 2009 Apr;22(2):183-90

Authors: Maertens J, Meersseman W, Van Bleyenbergh P

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: This review summarizes recent developments in the diagnosis and treatment of fungal pneumonia, with an emphasis on invasive pulmonary aspergillosis. RECENT FINDINGS: Improvements in nonculture-based fungal diagnostics, early implementation of pulmonary high resolution, or spiral computed tomography scanning and a recent expansion of the antifungal armamentarium have greatly improved the outcome of immunocompromised patients with invasive aspergillosis. However, the field is changing: new pathogens (such as Zygomycetes) are emerging, and novel risk groups (ICU patients in particular) are being identified. SUMMARY: Galactomannan antigen detection is a valuable tool for evaluating patients at risk for invasive aspergillosis (as a screening assay on serum samples from neutropenic patients or as a confirmatory assay on bronchoalveolar lavage fluid samples, in general), but should be used in conjunction with modern imaging techniques. beta-D-Glucan and PCR assays are still investigational. Voriconazole is the drug of choice for invasive aspergillosis, whereas liposomal amphotericin B at 3 mg/kg per day is the preferred alternative in case of contraindication, drug-related side-effects, or intolerance. Whenever possible, optimal antifungal therapy should be complemented by surgical debridement of necrotic tissue. The added value of combination therapy is still unproven. Therapeutic drug monitoring of mold-active azoles should be implemented in order to minimize toxicity and maximize efficacy. Lipid-based formulations of amphotericin B, and to a lesser extent voriconazole, are the drugs of choice for non-Aspergillus related fungal pneumonia. Although active in prophylaxis, the efficacy of posaconazole in confirmed infections remains controversial.

PMID: 19276884 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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