Subtherapeutic Posaconazole Exposure and Treatment Outcome in Patients With Invasive Fungal Disease Academic Article uri icon

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  • BACKGROUND: Posaconazole exposure seems to be subtherapeutic in some patients with invasive fungal disease. Due to the pharmacokinetic variability of posaconazole, therapeutic drug monitoring may help to optimize the efficacy of this antifungal drug. METHODS: A retrospective study of patients treated with posaconazole from January 2008 to April 2014 and for whom posaconazole serum concentrations were available was conducted. Risk factors for underexposure of posaconazole were detected, and the relationship between posaconazole exposure and treatment outcome according to the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) criteria was assessed. RESULTS: Seventy patients met the inclusion criteria, 45 patients received posaconazole as treatment, and 25 patients received posaconazole as a prophylactic. Posaconazole serum trough concentrations were <1.25 mg/L in 44.4% of patients receiving treatment and <0.7 mg/L in 40.0% of patients receiving prophylactic posaconazole. Multiple linear regression analysis showed a significant, independent, and negative association of the posaconazole serum trough concentration with a lack of enteral nutrition (P < 0.001), vomiting (P = 0.035), the use of a proton pump inhibitor or H2-receptor antagonist (P < 0.001), a liquid diet (P = 0.002), concomitant chemotherapy (P = 0.004), and a posaconazole dose frequency of 2 times daily (P = 0.015). A higher posaconazole concentration was associated with a better treatment outcome [odds ratio = 22.22 (95% confidence interval, 3.40-145.33); P = 0.001]. CONCLUSIONS: Posaconazole exposure is insufficient in more than 40% of patients at risk of or with invasive fungal disease, and posaconazole exposure is positively correlated with a successful treatment outcome. Therapeutic drug monitoring of posaconazole can detect underexposure and can be helpful in treatment optimization.


  • van der Elst, Kim CM
  • Brouwers, Charlie HS
  • Van den Heuvel, Edwin
  • van Wanrooy, Marjolijn JP
  • Uges, Donald RA
  • van der Werf, Tjip S
  • Kosterink, Jos GW
  • Span, Lambert FR
  • Alffenaar, Jan-Willem C

publication date

  • December 2015