We conducted a meta-analysis to investigate the influence of antifungal spectrum on the effectiveness and adverse events of empirical antifungal therapy for febrile neutropenia. We searched PubMed and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (Central), and identified randomized controlled trials reporting mortality, efficacy, adverse events, and hepatic and renal dysfunction. Five trials assessed the efficacy and adverse events of agents with antifungal spectrum covering and those not covering Aspergillus. There were no differences in mortality [risk ratio (RR); 0.79, 95% confidence interval (Cl); 0.60-1.02], efficacy ratio (RR; 1.01, 95%Cl; 0.91-1.12), adverse event ratio (RR; 0.23, 95%Cl; 0.04-1.23), and hepatic dysfunction ratio (RR; 0.81, 95%Cl; 0.59-1.12) between two groups. Antifungals with no activity against Aspergillus were associated with lower renal dysfunction ratio (RR; 0.27, 95%Cl; 0.10-0.71). Five trials compared agents with antifungal spectrum covering versus those not covering Mucor. There were no difference in mortality (RR; 1.24, 95%Cl; 0.98-1.57), efficacy ratio (RR; 1.09, 95%Cl; 0.91-1.30), and hepatic dysfunction ratio (RR; 0.98, 95%Cl; 0.66-1.45) between two groups. Antifungals with no activity against Mucor were associated with lower adverse event ratio (RR; 0.60, 95%Cl; 0.47-0.77) and renal dysfunction ratio (RR; 0.25, 95%Cl; 0.13-0.49). Presence or absence of activity against Aspergillus or Mucor is not associated with mortality or efficacy ratio. Amphotericin B with activity against Aspergillus and Mucor has a higher adverse event ratio. Depending on the case, selection of antifungal drugs considering efficacy and side effects is necessary.
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