A comparison of itraconazole versus fluconazole as maintenance therapy for AIDS-associated cryptococcal meningitis

Academic Article


  • This study was designed to compare the effectiveness of fluconazole vs. itraconazole as maintenance therapy for AIDS-associated cryptococcal meningitis. HIV-infected patients who had been successfully treated (achieved negative culture of CSF) for a first episode of cryptococcal meningitis were randomized to receive fluconazole or itraconazole, both at 200 mg/d, for 12 months. The study was stopped prematurely on the recommendation of an independent Data Safety and Monitoring Board. At the time, 13 (23%) of 57 itraconazole recipients had experienced culture-positive relapse, compared with 2 relapses (4%) noted among 51 fluconazole recipients (P = .006). The factor best associated with relapse was the patient having not received flucytosine during the initial 2 weeks of primary treatment for cryptococcal disease (relative risk = 5.88; 95% confidence interval, 1.27-27.14; P = .04). Fluconazole remains the treatment of choice for maintenance therapy for AIDS- associated cryptococcal disease. Flucytosine may contribute to the prevention of relapse if used during the first 2 weeks of primary therapy.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Saag MS; Cloud GA; Graybill JR; Sobel JD; Tuazon CU; Johnson PC; Fessel WJ; Moskovitz BL; Wiesinger B; Cosmatos D
  • Start Page

  • 291
  • End Page

  • 298
  • Volume

  • 28
  • Issue

  • 2