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Management of invasive candidiasis and candidemia in adult non-neutropenic intensive care unit patients: Part I. Epidemiology and diagnosis.

BACKGROUND: Invasive candidiasis and candidemia are frequently encountered in the nosocomial setting, particularly in the intensive care unit (ICU).

OBJECTIVES AND METHODS: To review the current management of invasive candidiasis and candidemia in non-neutropenic adult ICU patients based on a review of the literature and a European expert panel discussion.

RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: Candida albicans remains the most frequently isolated fungal species followed by C. glabrata. The diagnosis of invasive candidiasis involves both clinical and laboratory parameters, but neither of these are specific. One of the main features in diagnosis is the evaluation of risk factor for infection which will identify patients in need of pre-emptive or empiric treatment. Clinical scores were built from those risk factors. Among laboratory diagnosis, a positive blood culture from a normally sterile site provides positive evidence. Surrogate markers have also been proposed like 1,3 beta-D: glucan level, mannans, or PCR testing. Invasive candidiasis and candidemia is a growing concern in the ICU, apart from cases with positive blood cultures or fluid/tissue biopsy, diagnosis is neither sensitive nor specific. The diagnosis remains difficult and is usually based on the evaluation of risk factors.

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