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01.09.2009 | Ausgabe 9/2009

World Journal of Surgery 9/2009

Candida Isolation in Patients Hospitalized on a Surgical Ward: Significance and Mortality-Related Factors

World Journal of Surgery > Ausgabe 9/2009
J. Marchena-Gomez, T. Saez-Guzman, M. Hemmersbach-Miller, A. Conde-Martel, V. Morales-Leon, A. Bordes-Benitez, M. A. Acosta-Merida



Infections caused by Candida are an emerging pathology on surgical wards. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the incidence, characteristics, and predictive factors of mortality in patients colonized and/or infected by Candida spp. in this setting.


A consecutive series of 105 patients hospitalized on a general surgery ward between 2000 and 2004 were included, and 118 positive cultures for Candida were identified. The variables age, sex, previous medical history, current disease, anemia, ICU stay, type and localization of the microorganism, need for parenteral nutrition, and transfusions were recorded. The primary outcome was in-hospital mortality. A univariate analysis was performed to determine which of these variables were associated with mortality. With a logistic regression model, independent prognostic factors of mortality were determined.


The prevalence of patients colonized and/or infected by Candida on our surgical ward was 0.98% (CI 95%: 0.79–1.17), and the incidence was 49 cases per 1,000 patient-years. Of the 105 patients in this series, 56 were men (53%) and 49 women (47%); the mean age was 63.8 years (SD ± 15.7). Twelve patients (11.4%) had candidemia. Crude mortality was 23% (24 patients), whereas the mortality attributable to candidemia was 25% (3/12 cases). Anemia (p = 0.001); transfusions (p = 0.003), and an ICU stay (p = 0.002) were associated with mortality. Candidemia was associated with neoplasms (p = 0.02) and the infection caused by Candida parapsilosis (p = 0.04). The only independent factor related to mortality was the anemia (p = 0.028; Odds Ratio: 6.43; 95% CI: 1.23–33.73).


Colonization and/or infection by Candida spp. in non-ICU hospitalized surgical patients implies a relative high mortality. Anemia is an independent factor for mortality.

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