Efficacy and safety of micafungin versus intravenous itraconazole as empirical antifungal therapy for febrile neutropenic patients with hematological malignancies: a randomized, controlled, prospective, multicenter study

Seong Hyun Jeong, Dae Young Kim, Jun Ho Jang, Yeung Chul Mun, Chul Won Choi, Sung Hyun Kim, Jin Seok Kim, Joon Seong Park

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Micafungin, a clinically important echinocandin antifungal drug, needs to be investigated as empirical therapy in febrile neutropenia in comparison with azole compounds. A prospective randomized study was conducted to compare clinical outcomes between micafungin and intravenous itraconazole as an empirical therapy for febrile neutropenia in hematological malignancies. The antifungal drug (micafungin 100 mg or itraconazole 200 mg IV once daily) was given for high fever that was sustained despite the administration of appropriate antibiotics. Treatment success was determined by composite end points based on breakthrough invasive fungal infection (IFI), survival, premature discontinuation, defervescence, and treatment of baseline fungal infection. Duration of fever, hospital stay, and overall survival (OS) were studied. A total of 153 patients were randomized to receive micafungin or itraconazole. The overall success rate was 7.1 % point higher in the micafungin group (64.4 vs. 57.3 %, p = 0.404), satisfying the statistical criteria for the non-inferiority of micafungin. The duration of fever and hospital stay were significantly shorter in the micafungin group (6 vs. 7 days, p = 0.014; 22 vs. 27 days, p = 0.033, respectively). Grade 3 adverse events including hyperbilirubinemia (2 vs. 7), elevation of transaminase levels (2 vs. 4), electrolyte imbalance (1 vs. 2), atrial fibrillation (1 vs. 0), and anaphylaxis (1 vs. 0) occurred in 7 and 13 patients in the micafungin (10.4 %) and itraconazole (18.8 %) groups, respectively. Micafungin, when compared with itraconazole, had favorably comparable success rate and toxicity profiles on febrile neutropenia in patients with hematological malignancies. In addition, it showed superior effect on shortening the hospital stay.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-344
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Hematology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jan 1



  • Empirical
  • Febrile neutropenia
  • Micafungin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology

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