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Volume 51, Number 2, April 2018

Clinical characteristics and outcome of invasive fungal infections in pediatric acute myeloid leukemia patients in a medical center in Taiwan 

Gu-Lung Lin, Hsiu-Hao Chang, Chun-Yi Lu, Chung-Ming Chen, Meng-Yao Lu, Ping-Ing Lee, Shiann-Tarng Jou, Yung-Li Yang, Li-Min Huang, Luan-Yin Chang


Corresponding author:

Corresponding authors. Number 8, Chung-Shan South Road, Taipei 10041, Taiwan. 


Background and purpose: 

Invasive fungal infection (IFI) causes significant morbidity and mortality in patients with hematological malignancies, especially those with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), recurrent acute leukemia, high-risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. The study aimed to investigate the clinical characteristics and outcome of IFIs in pediatric AML patients in a medical center in Taiwan. 



We performed retrospective chart reviews. We enrolled pediatric AML patients who were admitted to National Taiwan University Hospital between January 2005 and December 2014. IFI was defined according to the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer/Mycosis Study Group 2008 consensus criteria.




In total, 78 patients were included for analysis. Twenty two episodes of IFIs were identified in 16 patients. The incidence for IFIs was 20.5% (16/78), and no specific trend of increase or decrease was observed through the study period (p=0.374). Candida species caused the majority (59.1%) of IFIs. Prolonged neutropenia and elevated alanine aminotransferase and creatinine values were factors associated with IFIs (p<0.001, p<0.001, and p=0.001, respectively). Patients with endotracheal intubation or inotropes usage had a higher probability of developing IFIs (p<0.001 and p=0.001, respectively). The overall mortality of IFIs was 53% (8/15) over 10 years, and patients with pulmonary aspergillosis had the highest mortality (80%). 



IFIs continue to pose significant morbidity and mortality in pediatric AML patients, and patients with other hematology-oncology cancers. Recognition of factors associated with IFIs may help us early identify IFIs and promptly initiate antifungal therapy. 


Key words:

acute myeloid leukemia, invasive fungal infection, pediatrics