Study Objective. To determine the success rate and toxicity profile of oral voriconazole when used as empiric antifungal therapy in patients with uncomplicated persistent neutropenic fever. Design. Retrospective medical record review. Setting. University hospital. Patients. Twenty-seven patients who received oral voriconazole as empiric antifungal treatment during 31 episodes of persistent neutropenic fever between August 1, 2003, and April 1, 2006. Measurements and Main Results. Data were collected on patient demographics, diagnosis, cancer treatment plan, voriconazole regimen, dates of voriconazole treatment, other antibiotics administered during the episode of fever, and adverse events. Patient survival data from at least 3 months of follow-up were also collected. Treatment success, which was defined as survival to the resolution of fever without a need to change antibiotics and without new fungal infections, was also determined. Median duration of therapy was 11 days (range 2-54 days). No patient discontinued the drug because of toxicity. The success rate was 55% (95% confidence interval [CI] 36-73%). For all patients, 90-day survival from the start of voriconazole treatment was 81% (95% CI 63-93%). Neither treatment success nor 90-day survival rates differed significantly when they were compared by the route used for loading doses or by the presence of a possible invasive fungal infection at the start of voriconazole therapy. Conclusion. Oral voriconazole appears to be a safe empiric antifungal treatment with an encouraging rate of activity for patients with neutropenia and uncomplicated persistent fever. Further research, including randomized controlled trials comparing the efficacy of intravenous versus oral voriconazole, is needed.
- Antifungal antibiotic
- Empiric antifungal treatment
- Neutropenic fever
- Uncomplicated febrile neutropenia