Serum total iron-binding capacity (TIBC) was measured serially on 70 patients with acute leukemia throughout the period of chemotherapy-induced granulocytopenia. Fungal infections were documented in 13 of these patients (18.6%), while 41 patients (58.6%) had clinically suspected fungal infections and 16 (22.9%) had no evidence of fungal infections during the granulocytopenia. Documented fungal infection occurred in patients with the greatest reduction in TIBC (P < .015). Early reduction in TIBC also correlated with a greater risk for occurrence of fungal infection, and the earliest institution of amphotericin B (Amp-B) (P < .004). Effective antifungal therapy was further associated with a return of TIBC levels toward normal. These data demonstrate that altered iron metabolism during granulocytopenia is associated with the development of fungal infections in compromised patients. Serial monitoring of TIBC, along with other clinical and mycologic findings, may prove useful in developing strategies for predicting patients at risk for developing a fungal infection and directing the appropriate use of empiric therapy by Amp-B.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research