Candida prophylaxis and therapy in the ICU

Pablo M. Echeverria, Daniel H. Kett, Elie Azoulay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The incidence of invasive candidiasis in critically ill patients has increased over the past decade and is associated with considerable morbidity and mortality. Candida is identified in up to 17% of ICU patients, with candidemia occurring in 1%. Candida albicans continues to account for approximately half of the invasive candidiasis cases, with non-albicans Candida species, such Candida glabrata, increasing in frequency. Diagnosis of invasive candidiasis is commonly based on blood culture results; however, the sensitivity of blood culture to identify Candida is low. Because early, appropriate therapy has been associated with improved outcomes, antifungal therapy is being implemented in critically ill patients with risk factors for candidemia (prophylaxis). Systemic antifungal therapy is also being utilized in patients at increased risk for invasive candidiasis based on surrogate markers of infection such as colonization (preemptive therapy), or in patients with unresolving sepsis despite appropriate management (empirical therapy). Recent guidelines on the use of antifungal therapy have better identified patients who can be treated with azole derivatives and those who may benefit from echinocandins or polyenes. However, prospective trials are still needed to better identify appropriate therapy for patients at risk for, or with, confirmed invasive Candida infections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-173
Number of pages15
JournalSeminars in Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 26 2011


  • Candida
  • colonization
  • echinocandins
  • ICU
  • outcomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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