RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Voriconazole versus a regimen of amphotericin B followed by fluconazole for candidaemia in non-neutropenic patients: a randomised non-inferiority trial.

Lancet 2005 October 23
BACKGROUND: Voriconazole has proven efficacy against invasive aspergillosis and oesophageal candidiasis. This multicentre, randomised, non-inferiority study compared voriconazole with a regimen of amphotericin B followed by fluconazole for the treatment of candidaemia in non-neutropenic patients.

METHODS: Non-neutropenic patients with a positive blood culture for a species of candida and clinical evidence of infection were enrolled. Patients were randomly assigned, in a 2:1 ratio, either voriconazole (n=283) or amphotericin B followed by fluconazole (n=139). The primary efficacy analysis was based on clinical and mycological response 12 weeks after the end of treatment, assessed by an independent data-review committee unaware of treatment assignment.

FINDINGS: Of 422 patients randomised, 370 were included in the modified intention-to-treat population. Voriconazole was non-inferior to amphotericin B/fluconazole in the primary efficacy analysis, with successful outcomes in 41% of patients in both treatment groups (95% CI for difference -10.6% to 10.6%). At the last evaluable assessment, outcome was successful in 162 (65%) patients assigned voriconazole and 87 (71%) assigned amphotericin B/fluconazole (p=0.25). Voriconazole cleared blood cultures as quickly as amphotericin B/fluconazole (median time to negative blood culture, 2.0 days). Treatment discontinuations due to all-cause adverse events were more frequent in the voriconazole group, although most discontinuations were due to non-drug-related events and there were significantly fewer serious adverse events and cases of renal toxicity than in the amphotericin B/fluconazole group.

INTERPRETATION: Voriconazole was as effective as the regimen of amphotericin B followed by fluconazole in the treatment of candidaemia in non-neutropenic patients, and with fewer toxic effects.

RELEVANCE TO PRACTICE: There are several options for treatment of candidaemia in non-neutropenic patients, including amphotericin B, fluconazole, voriconazole, and echinocandins. Voriconazole can be given both as initial intravenous treatment and as an oral stepdown agent.

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