Risk Factors and Characteristics of Candidemia After Cardiac Surgery in Pediatric Patients in Central Israel

Yaara Kahan, Samantha G. Tope, Adi Ovadia, Adi Shpring, Rachel Shatzman-Steuerman, Gilad Sherman, Galia Barkai, Avigdor Mandelberg, Keren Armoni-Domany, Diana Tasher*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Candidemia is a serious complication in pediatric patients with congenital heart defects (CHD) after cardiac surgery. Information about the epidemiology, clinical characteristics and risk factors for candidemia in this vulnerable population remains limited. Methods: This retrospective case-control study was conducted in 2 pediatric intensive care units between 2004 and 2019. All patients <18 years old who developed candidemia following cardiac surgery were included. Each case was matched with 2 control patients based on age and date of surgery. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was conducted to determine the risk factors for postoperative candidemia. Results: Thirty-five candidemia cases were identified and matched to 70 control cases. The incidence of candidemia was 6.3 episodes per 1000 admissions. The median age for candidemia cases was 4 months. The attributable mortality was 28.5%. The predominant (54%) pathogens isolated were non-albicans Candida species, of which C. parapsilosis isolates demonstrated high resistance to fluconazole (70%). Independent risk factors associated with candidemia included cumulative antibiotic exposure for ≥4 days [OR: -4.3; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.3-14.6; P = 0.02], the need for total parenteral nutrition or peritoneal dialysis (OR: -6.1; 95% CI: 2-18.8; P = 0.001), male sex (OR: 6.2; 95% CI: 1.9-20.3; P = 0.002) and delayed sternal closure≥2 days (OR: -3.2; 95% CI: 1-11.2; P = 0.05). Conclusions: Postoperative candidemia in children with CHD is an uncommon but severe complication. Our study revealed an unexpectedly high frequency of fluconazole-resistant C. parapsilosis as the main cause of non-albicans candidemia. In addition to confirming previously recognized risk factors, our results reveal new potential risk factors such as delayed sternal closure and male sex.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)368-373
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Infectious Disease Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 May 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • candidemia
  • congenital heart defect
  • heart surgery
  • pediatric


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