Loren Laine, MD; Robin H. Dretler, MD; Chris N. Conteas, MD; Carmelita Tuazon, MD; Frederick M. Koster, MD; Fred Sattler, MD; Kathleen Squires, MD; Muhammed Z. Islam, PhD
▪ Objective: To determine the clinical and endoscopic response of Candida esophagitis to antifungal therapy and to compare the two oral antifungal agents, fluconazole and ketoconazole.
▪ Design: Multicenter, randomized, double-blind trial.
▪ Setting: Fifteen U.S. centers including university, private practice, and county hospital settings.
▪ Patients: A total of 169 patients with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS); odynophagia, dysphagia, or retrosternal pain; white esophageal plaques at endoscopy; and pseudohyphae on esophageal brushings or biopsies.
▪ Intervention: Patients were randomly assigned to fluconazole (100 mg/d) or ketoconazole (200 mg/d). Doses were doubled at week 1 or 2 if no symptomatic improvement had occurred during the preceding week. Therapy was continued for 2 weeks after resolution of symptoms or for a maximum of 8 weeks.
▪ Measurements: Patients were clinically evaluated weekly, and laboratory tests were done every 2 weeks. Endoscopy was repeated within 5 days after the end of therapy.
▪ Results: A total of 143 patients were clinically evaluable (assessed within 7 days after therapy), and 129 patients were endoscopically evaluable (endoscopy repeated after therapy). Endoscopic cure occurred in 91% of patients treated with fluconazole and in 52% of those given ketoconazole for a difference of 39% (95% Cl, 24% to 52%; P < 0.001). Esophageal symptoms resolved in 85% of fluconazole-treated patients and in 65% of ketoconazole-treated patients for a difference of 20% (Cl, 6% to 34%; P = 0.006). Intention-to-treat analyses also yielded statistically significant differences for the comparisons listed above. Side effects were minimal and comparable in the two groups; only one patient in each group had therapy discontinued for adverse effects that were possibly related to the study medications.
▪ Conclusions: Fluconazole is associated with significantly greater rates of endoscopic and clinical cure than ketoconazole in patients with AIDS and Candida esophagitis. Both drugs appear to be safe and well tolerated.
Laine L, Dretler RH, Conteas CN, et al. Fluconazole Compared with Ketoconazole for the Treatment of Candida Esophagitis in AIDS: A Randomized Trial. Ann Intern Med. 1992;117:655–660. doi: https://doi.org/10.7326/0003-4819-117-8-655
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1992;117(8):655-660.
Esophageal Disorders, Gastroenterology/Hepatology, Infectious Disease.
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