Invasive Fusarium species infections in immunocompromised patients occur predominantly in those with hematological malignancies. Survival rates of 20–40% were reported in adults, but data in children are limited. Our retrospective, nationwide multicenter study of invasive fusariosis in pediatric hematology/oncology and stem cell transplant (SCT) patients identified twenty-two cases. Underlying conditions included hematological malignancies (n = 16; 73%), solid tumors (n = 2), and non-malignant hematological conditions (n = 4). Nineteen patients (86%) were neutropenic, nine (41%) were SCT recipients, and seven (32%) received corticosteroids. Sixteen patients (73%) had disseminated fusariosis, five had local infection, and one had isolated fungemia. Fifteen patients (68%) had skin involvement and eight (36%) had a bloodstream infection. Four patients (18%) presented with osteoarticular involvement and four with pulmonary involvement. Nineteen patients (86%) received combination antifungal therapy upfront and three (14%) received single-agent treatment. Ninety-day probability of survival was 77%: four of the five deaths were attributed to fusariosis, all in patients with relapsed/refractory acute leukemias. Ninety-day probability of survival for patients with relapsed/refractory underlying malignancy was 33% vs. 94% in others (p < 0.001). Survival rates in this largest pediatric population-based study were strikingly higher than those reported in adults, demonstrating that invasive fusariosis is a life-threatening but salvageable condition in immunosuppressed children.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We wish to acknowledge the Israel Cancer Association, Chaim Association and Israel Children?s Cancer Foundation for their support. We acknowledge all pediatric hematology-oncology departments in Israel for their dedicated care of these challenging patients.
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
- invasive fungal infections
- pediatric hematology oncology
- stem cell transplantation