Objectives: We investigated the performance and the clinical impact of histologic examination of infected tissue in patients with suspected invasive fungal infection (IFI) at a tertiary pediatric center. Methods: Unique episodes of IFI were identified from January 1, 2001, through December 31, 2012. Surgical pathology reports, fungal culture results, and clinical data were abstracted from medical records. Results: Forty-seven patients with IFI were identified. Each patient had one episode of IFI. Risk factors included chemotherapy for an oncologic condition (n = 35), hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (n = 6), solid organ transplantation (n = 4), and primary immunodeficiency (n = 2). Tissue was obtained from deep subcutaneous tissue (n = 21), visceral organs (14 lungs, five livers, and one spleen), or the sinonasal cavity (n = 6). Fungal culture was ordered in 40 of the 47 episodes of IFI. Fungus grew in 27 (68%) of the 40 cultures submitted, and all isolates were concordant with histology. Medical records were available for 36 (77%) of 47 patients. Communication of histology results prompted changes in antifungal therapy 64% of the time. This included initiation of antifungal therapy in 13 patients who were not previously receiving therapy. Fifteen (42%) patients underwent surgical excision within 48 hours of histologic diagnosis. Conclusions: Histology can provide rapid, accurate, and clinically actionable information to clinicians caring for children with IFI.
- Invasive fungal infection