RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Polymerase chain reaction used to detect candidemia in patients with candiduria.

Urology 1998 March
OBJECTIVES: Candiduria has been shown to be an early marker of disseminated fungal infection in critically ill patients who have undergone surgery. The management of candidemia and disseminated candidiasis depends on rapid and definitive identification of Candida. Routine or fungus-specific blood cultures are unreliable and require a large quantity of blood for incubation. We describe the importance of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) procedure in the early detection of candidemia in critically ill patients who develop candiduria and the favorable outcome in treating these patients with systemic antifungal therapy.

METHODS: We compared the results of cultures and PCR to detect the presence of C. albicans in the blood of two critically ill patients with clinical candidiasis and candiduria.

RESULTS: PCR detected the presence of C. albicans deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) in urine and blood specimens of both patients in spite of negative blood cultures and did not detect fungal DNA after systemic antifungal therapy.

CONCLUSIONS: Candiduria manifests as an early sign of candidemia, and systemic antifungal therapy timed appropriately based on the clinical condition and onset of candiduria will improve outcome. Detection of fungal DNA in blood by PCR is of value in establishing the diagnosis. Additional studies with a larger sample size are required to evaluate the specificity and sensitivity of PCR as a routine diagnostic test for candidemia.

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