Torulopsis glabrata fungemia--a clinical pathological study.
The clinical findings, pathologic features, and outcome were investigated in 46 patients in whom Torulopsis glabrata was isolated in 131 specimens of blood. Nineteen of the patients had only a single positive blood culture and no evidence of systemic yeast infection, while 27 patients had a clinically significant fungemia based upon the occurrence of 2 or more positive blood cultures, or the combination of a positive blood culture and isolation of the organism from a closed body cavity or demonstration of the yeast in tissue sections. The predisposing factors to the development of fungemia included the presence of intravenous lines, indwelling Foley catheters, antibiotics and surgery, especially when the gastrointestinal tract was involved. Only 22% of patients received either steroids or cytostatic agents. Possible portals of entry were suggested by the prior isolation of the organism from urine, sputum, wounds, and central venous catheter tips in most of the patients. Twelve of 27 patients with clinically significant fungemia were treated. The initial mode of therapy in nine patients was removal of intravenous lines because of the clinical suspicion of catheter related sepsis. Seven of the patients improved rapidly and one more after amphotericin B was subsequently administered. Amphotericin B was the initial therapy in three cases. One patient was cured while another died of an unrelated infection. Five patients were not treated although the isolation of T. glabrata had been reported; the fact that the presence of the organism was felt to be unimportant was considered to be a factor in the delay of treatment. In the remaining 10 patients the organism was isolated only after the patient had died. Division of the patients into four groups based upon whether the individuals survived, died of unrelated disease, died with potentially lethal infection, or died with T. glabrata infection significantly contributing to death, revealed a spectrum of disease, certain signs of which appeared to be of predictive value as prognostic indices of survival and severity of the infection. Seven patients with transient fungemia experienced an acute episode of high spiking fever (greater than 102.5 degrees F), rigors and/or hypotension, six of whom improved after the intravenous catheter was removed, suggesting a catheter-related sepsis. In contrast, persistent low grade fever (less than 102.5 degrees F) characterized eight of the nine patients in whom T. glabrata infection was considered either potentially lethal, or contributing significantly to death. A deteriorating clinical course with organ failure was also associated with this latter category of patients. Catheter-induced specticemia was considered in only two patients in this category. The autopsy and clinical findings in this investigation as well as reported experimental studies suggest that T. glabrata is an organism of low virulence. The patients' underlying disease (e.g., neoplasia) and coexisting bacterial infection are the most important factors responsible for death.
Berkowitz, ID; Robboy, SJ; Karchmer, AW; Kunz, LJ
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