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Twenty-four fungal feeding-line infections occurred in 17 patients during 1984-1992. Thirteen were receiving long-term home parenteral feeding and, in them, the first infection occurred after a median of 30 months (range 1-120) continuous feeding with a line that had been in situ for a median of 20 months (range 1-37). Four were receiving short-term feeding through a line that had been inserted 1-2 months previously. At the time of the first infection all patients were febrile and most were anaemic (15/16), however a leucocytosis was rare (three of 16). The fungi isolated were Candida albicans(6), Candida parapsilosis(5), Candida glabrata(2), Candida guillermondii(2) and other species (2). In 16 patients, the feeding-line was removed at the time of the first infection and no other treatment was given, and no other complications occurred in eight (50%) of these. In 11, the line was reinserted a median of 7 days after removal (range 1-11). Four patients (24%) developed a Candida infection of the eye 1-8 weeks after the diagnosis, uveitis (2) and endophthalmitis (2) which, in one patient, led to complete blindness in one eye. Two patients had recurrent infections which began within a month of dental therapy. In one, the infections stopped after dental extractions and, in the other, after a dental clearance. An ophthalmoscopic examination should be performed in all patients with a fungal feeding-line infection. Recurrent candidal infections may have a dental origin.



Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine

Publication Date





258 - 263


St Mark's Hospital, London, UK.


Humans, Eye Infections, Fungal, Candidiasis, Tooth Diseases, Recurrence, Parenteral Nutrition, Long-Term Care, Equipment Contamination, Middle Aged, Female