OBJECTIVES AND METHODS: In order to assess physicians' compliance with international guidelines for the targeted treatment of invasive aspergillosis, 136 patients with acute myeloid leukaemia and proven/probable invasive aspergillosis were analysed. RESULTS: Compliance with Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) and European Conference on Infections in Leukaemia (ECIL) guidelines was found to be relatively low (28% for ECIL and 55% for IDSA), although no significant differences were found between the two groups (adherence versus non-adherence). In both subgroup analyses (IDSA and ECIL), compliance with the guidelines did not impact the 120 day survival rate. Instead, adherence to guidelines led to a higher response rate to first-line antifungal treatment (76% in the IDSA group and 84% in the ECIL group). CONCLUSIONS: Guidelines establish categories of patients with homogeneous characteristics, and suggest optimal diagnostic and therapeutic options for them. Acquisition of good results through adherence to guidelines is confirmed by our series. Unfortunately, there are frequently reasons to deviate from these general recommendations, particularly in patients with acute myeloid leukaemia. Despite evidence-based recommendations, adherence to the guidelines does not constitute the best therapeutic choice in each and every patient. Subjects' clinical conditions and co-morbidities vary widely, and sometimes render the 'recommended' drug a non-applicable strategy.
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