Invasive pulmonary aspergillosis in acute-on-chronic liver failure patients: short-term outcomes and antifungal options.
Introduction: Acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF) patients are susceptible to invasive fungal infections. We evaluated the prognosis and antifungal options in ACLF patients with invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA). Methods: ACLF patients with IPA from 15 hospitals were retrospectively screened from 2011 to 2018, and 383 ACLF patients without lung infections were included from a prospective cohort (NCT02457637). Demographic, laboratory, clinical data, and 28-day outcomes were documented in the two cohorts. Results: ACLF patients with probable IPA (n = 145) had greater 28-day mortality (33.6% vs. 15.7%, p < 0.001) than those without (n = 383). The respiratory failure-associated 28-day mortality was greater in ACLF patients with IPA than in those without before (17.1% vs. 0.3%, p < 0.001) and after (16.0% vs. 0.0%, p < 0.001) propensity score matching in 116 pairs. IPA patients with lung injury had greater 28-day all-cause mortality (66.5% vs. 24.2%, p < 0.001) and IPA-associated mortality (45.8% vs. 8.1%, p < 0.001) than patients without lung injury (PaO2/FiO2 ≥ 400 mmHg). Antifungal therapy was prescribed to 139 of 145 patients, and 102 patients were treated with voriconazole alone (n = 59) or sequential/combined therapy (n = 43) with varying loading doses (100-800 mg) and daily maintenance doses (0-800 mg). A proposed optimal voriconazole regimen (loading dose, 200 mg twice daily; daily maintenance dose, 100 mg) achieved comparable short-term survival and optimal trough drug concentrations (1-5 μg/mL) on therapeutic drug monitoring in 26 patients. Conclusion: Presence of IPA increases the short-term mortality of ACLF patients mainly due to respiratory failure. An optimal voriconazole regimen is needed for such critical patients.