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01.12.2020 | Research | Ausgabe 1/2020 Open Access

Critical Care 1/2020

(1,3)-β-d-Glucan-based empirical antifungal interruption in suspected invasive candidiasis: a randomized trial

Critical Care > Ausgabe 1/2020
Gennaro De Pascale, Brunella Posteraro, Sonia D’Arrigo, Giorgia Spinazzola, Rita Gaspari, Giuseppe Bello, Luca Maria Montini, Salvatore Lucio Cutuli, Domenico Luca Grieco, Valentina Di Gravio, Giulia De Angelis, Riccardo Torelli, Elena De Carolis, Mario Tumbarello, Maurizio Sanguinetti, Massimo Antonelli
Wichtige Hinweise
Gennaro De Pascale and Brunella Posteraro contributed equally to this work.
A comment to this article is available online at https://​doi.​org/​10.​1186/​s13054-020-03450-z.

Supplementary information

Supplementary information accompanies this paper at https://​doi.​org/​10.​1186/​s13054-020-03265-y.

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Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.



(1,3)-β-d-Glucan has been widely used in clinical practice for the diagnosis of invasive Candida infections. However, such serum biomarker showed potential to guide antimicrobial therapy in order to reduce the duration of empirical antifungal treatment in critically ill septic patients with suspected invasive candidiasis.


This was a single-centre, randomized, open-label clinical trial in which critically ill patients were enrolled during the admission to the intensive care unit (ICU). All septic patients who presented invasive Candida infection risk factors and for whom an empirical antifungal therapy was commenced were randomly assigned (1:1) in those stopping antifungal therapy if (1,3)-β-d-glucan was negative ((1,3)-β-d-glucan group) or those continuing the antifungal therapy based on clinical rules (control group). Serum 1,3-β-d-glucan was measured at the enrolment and every 48/72 h over 14 days afterwards. The primary endpoint was the duration of antifungal treatment in the first 30 days after enrolment.


We randomized 108 patients into the (1,3)-β-d-glucan (n = 53) and control (n = 55) groups. Median [IQR] duration of antifungal treatment was 2 days [1–3] in the (1,3)-β-d-glucan group vs. 10 days [6–13] in the control group (between-group absolute difference in means, 6.29 days [95% CI 3.94–8.65], p < 0.001). Thirty-day mortality was similar (28.3% [(1,3)-β-d-glucan group] vs. 27.3% [control group], p = 0.92) as well as the overall rate of documented candidiasis (11.3% [(1,3)-β-d-glucan group] vs. 12.7% [control group], p = 0.94), the length of mechanical ventilation (p = 0.97) and ICU stay (p = 0.23).


In critically ill septic patients admitted to the ICU at risk of invasive candidiasis, a (1,3)-β-d-glucan-guided strategy could reduce the duration of empirical antifungal therapy. However, the safety of this algorithm needs to be confirmed in future, multicentre clinical trial with a larger population.

Trial registration, NCT03117439, retrospectively registered on 18 April 2017
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