Chronic systemic candidiasis in acute leukemia

Research paper by J. Blade, A. Lopez-Guillermo, C. Rozman, A. Grañena, M. Bruguera, J. Bordas, F. Cervantes, E. Carreras, J. Sierra, E. Montserrat

Indexed on: 01 May '92Published on: 01 May '92Published in: Annals of Hematology


In the past few years a new syndrome of invasiveCandida infection, the so-called hepatosplenic or chronic systemic candidiasis (CSC), has been recognized with increasing frequency in neutropenic patients. From January 1985 to December 1990, ten of 305 acute leukemia (AL) patients treated at our institution were diagnosed as having CSC. In contrast, during the same period this type ofCandida infection was not observed in any patient with hematological diseases other than AL treated in our center, including 277 patients who underwent bone marrow transplantation. All patients with CSC had fever and hepatomegaly, and five complained of abdominal pain. Seven patients had neutrophilic leukocytosis and six an increased serum alkaline phosphatase activity. Abdominal computed tomography and ultrasound study showed typical lesions in eight and seven patients, respectively. In four patients a laparoscopy-guided needle liver biopsy displayed yellowish nodules on the liver surface, and the histologic study revealed large granulomas with yeasts and pseudohyphae. All patients were given amphotericin B (mean: 4.6 g, range: 1–12.5 g) and 5-fluorocytosine, and five received fluoconazole. No patient died as a direct consequence of CSC and in six the infection resolved. Finally, once controlled, the infectious complication did not preclude subsequent intensive antileukemic therapy, including bone marrow transplantation.