Journal Article

Oropharyngeal Candidiasis as a Marker for Esophageal Candidiasis in Patients with Cancer

George Samonis, Panagiotis Skordilis, Sofia Maraki, George Datseris, Paraschos Toloudis, Ioannis Chatzinikolaou, Vassilios Georgoulias and Gerald P. Bodey

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 27, issue 2, pages 283-286
Published in print August 1998 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online August 1998 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/514653
Oropharyngeal Candidiasis as a Marker for Esophageal Candidiasis in Patients with Cancer

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The present study was designed to determine the frequency of candidal esophagitis in cancer patients with oral thrush. Patients with clinically and microbiologically diagnosed oral candidiasis were evaluated by endoscopy for concurrent esophageal candidiasis. Esophageal involvement was documented by mucosal lesions, microbiological findings of candidal infection in smears of brushing material, positive cultures of brushing material, and histological evidence of mucosal invasion by the yeast. For 21 of the 22 patients studied, there were endoscopic and microbiological findings of candidal esophagitis. Cultures of the brushing material from all 22 patients were positive, while histological evidence was found for 14 patients. Only 10 of the patients had mild esophageal symptoms. It is concluded that oral thrush represents a reliable marker for esophageal candidiasis in patients with cancer. Routine endoscopy is not necessary to confirm the diagnosis; this procedure should be reserved for patients with persistent thrush and symptoms despite antifungal therapy.

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Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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