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Voriconazole prophylaxis in lung transplant recipients.

Lung transplant recipients have one of the highest rates of invasive aspergillosis (IA) in solid organ transplantation. We used a single center, nonrandomized, retrospective, sequential study design to evaluate fungal infection rates in lung transplant recipients who were managed with either universal prophylaxis with voriconazole (n = 65) or targeted prophylaxis (n = 30) with itraconazole +/- inhaled amphotericin in patients at high risk (pre- or posttransplant Aspergillus colonization [except Aspergillus niger]). The rate of IA at 1 year was better in lung transplant recipients receiving voriconazole prophylaxis as compared to the cohort managed with targeted prophylaxis (1.5% vs. 23%; p = 0.001). Twenty-nine percent of cases in the targeted prophylaxis group were in patients colonized with A. niger who did not receive itraconazole. A three-fold or higher increase in liver enzymes was noted in 37-60% of patients receiving voriconazole prophylaxis as compared to 15-41% of patients in the targeted prophylaxis cohort. Fourteen percent in the voriconazole group as compared to 8% in the targeted prophylaxis group had to discontinue antifungal medications due to side effects. Voriconazole prophylaxis can be used in preventing IA in lung transplant recipients. Regular monitoring of liver enzymes and serum concentrations of calcineurin inhibitors are required to avoid hepatotoxicity and nephrotoxicity.

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