Study Objective: To assess the efficacy and toxicity of long-term maintenance amphotericin B therapy in preventing relapses after treatment in patients with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and disseminated histoplasmosis.
Design: Open, nonrandomized pilot study.
Setting: Three private, university-affiliated community hospitals.
Patients: We studied 22 consecutive patients with disseminated histoplasmosis and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Sixteen patients completed the study, 5 patients died before completing the initial intensive phase of treatment, and 1 patient received a different treatment regimen.
Interventions: Seven patients were treated with an initial intensive course of 1000 mg of amphotericin B, followed by weekly infusions of 50 to 80 mg until a cumulative dose of 2000 mg was attained; biweekly infusions of 50 to 80 mg were then continued indefinitely. Nine patients received an initial amphotericin B course of 2000 mg followed by weekly infusions of 80 mg.
Measurements and Main Results: Of the 7 patients in the 1000-mg intensive regimen group, 6 patients have survived without clinical or laboratory evidence of a histoplasmosis relapse, and 1 died of unrelated causes. Of the 9 patients in the 2000-mg intensive regimen group, 7 patients have survived, 1 patient died of a histoplasmosis relapse, and 1 patient died of other causes. Thus, 13 of 14 patients (93%) who did not die of other causes remained relapse-free. The median follow-up period was 14 months (range, 2 to 23 months). No apparent differences in outcome were observed between patients treated with weekly maintenance regimens and those treated with biweekly maintenance regimens. Sixty-three percent of patients developed intravascular device-related complications.
Conclusions: Long-term, intermittent maintenance amphotericin B therapy in HIV-infected patients with disseminated histoplasmosis is well tolerated and is highly effective in suppressing relapses after treatment.