Demographic information, risk factors, therapy, and outcome for all patients who had candidemia at Barnes Hospital, St. Louis, between 1 September 1988 and 1 September 1989 were retrospectively reviewed. One hundred six candidemic patients were identified, representing 0.5% of all medical and surgical discharges and 0.33% of total patient discharges. These percentages represent a 20-fold increase in the incidence of candidemia at our hospital in comparison with that during 1976-1979. Candida albicans was the most frequently isolated species (63%), followed by Candida tropicalis (17%), Candida glabrata (13%), Candida parapsilosis (6.5%), and Candida krusei (0.9%). Overall mortality was 57%, and 14 (23%) of 60 deaths occurred within 48 hours of the detection of candidemia. Mortality was associated with higher APACHE II scores (25 for nonsurvivors vs. 16 for survivors; P = 0001), the presence of a rapidly fatal underlying illness (P = 0009), and sustained positivity of blood cultures (P = 02). In cases of sustained candidemia, the isolation of non-albicans Candida species also correlated with increased mortality (8 of 8 vs. 10 of 21; P = 005). Thirty candidemic patients (28%) did not receive any antifungal therapy, and 19 (63%) of these untreated patients died. Eleven untreated patients (37%) survived without sequelae. There has been a marked increase in the incidence of candidemia in our institution that is associated with a high overall mortality. Candidemia lasting <24 hours was associated with a lower mortality than was that of longer duration. Severity of illness and duration of candidemia should be used as stratifying factors in prospective studies to determine optimum therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)414-421
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1992


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