Torsades de pointes in a patient receiving fluconazole for cerebral cryptococcosis

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Abstract

PURPOSE: A case of torsades de pointes associated with fluconazole use is described. SUMMARY: A 68-year-old woman with a history of hypertension treated with 2.5 mg of indapamide for 16 months sought medical treatment after having two falls 1 month apart. A computed tomography scan and subsequent magnetic resonance imaging of the brain revealed a lesion in the left pons and middle cerebellar peduncle. Biopsy of the pontine lesion revealed large yeast forms and subsequently revealed Cryptococcus neoformans var. gattii. The patient was initially treated with conventional amphotericin B and flucytosine for six weeks. The first week of therapy was complicated by hypokalemia, hypomagnesemia, and an episode of atrial fibrillation that was managed with electrolyte replacement, commencement of metoprolol, and switching from conventional amphotericin B to amphotericin B lipid complex. After six weeks, liposomal amphotericin was discontinued and high-dose oral fluconazole was initiated. Six days after beginning fluconazole therapy, the patient had a generalized tonic-clonic seizure and suffered cardiopulmonary arrest. Postresuscitation, an electrocardiogram demonstrated a corrected Q-T interval of 556 msec. Recurrent episodes of torsades de pointes were also recorded postarrest. Fluconazole was discontinued at this time, and liposomal amphotericin B was resumed. Neurologic and electroencephalographic assessment conducted 48 hours postarrest revealed that significant neurologic damage had been sustained. Supportive care was withdrawn, and the patient died two days later. A postmortem examination revealed no coronary artery disease or hemorrhagic transformation of the pontine cryptococcoma. CONCLUSION: Treatment with high-dose fluconazole was the probable cause of torsades de pointes in a patient with risk factors for this condition. The benefits and risks of using fluconazole should be carefully weighed for patients with risk factors for Q-T interval prolongation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)619-623
Number of pages5
JournalAm J Health Syst Pharm
Volume65
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Keywords

  • Aged Antifungal Agents/administration & dosage/*adverse effects/therapeutic use Fatal Outcome Female Fluconazole/administration & dosage/*adverse effects/therapeutic use Humans Meningitis, Cryptococcal/*drug therapy Risk Factors Torsades de Pointes/*chemically induced

Cite this

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title = "Torsades de pointes in a patient receiving fluconazole for cerebral cryptococcosis",
abstract = "PURPOSE: A case of torsades de pointes associated with fluconazole use is described. SUMMARY: A 68-year-old woman with a history of hypertension treated with 2.5 mg of indapamide for 16 months sought medical treatment after having two falls 1 month apart. A computed tomography scan and subsequent magnetic resonance imaging of the brain revealed a lesion in the left pons and middle cerebellar peduncle. Biopsy of the pontine lesion revealed large yeast forms and subsequently revealed Cryptococcus neoformans var. gattii. The patient was initially treated with conventional amphotericin B and flucytosine for six weeks. The first week of therapy was complicated by hypokalemia, hypomagnesemia, and an episode of atrial fibrillation that was managed with electrolyte replacement, commencement of metoprolol, and switching from conventional amphotericin B to amphotericin B lipid complex. After six weeks, liposomal amphotericin was discontinued and high-dose oral fluconazole was initiated. Six days after beginning fluconazole therapy, the patient had a generalized tonic-clonic seizure and suffered cardiopulmonary arrest. Postresuscitation, an electrocardiogram demonstrated a corrected Q-T interval of 556 msec. Recurrent episodes of torsades de pointes were also recorded postarrest. Fluconazole was discontinued at this time, and liposomal amphotericin B was resumed. Neurologic and electroencephalographic assessment conducted 48 hours postarrest revealed that significant neurologic damage had been sustained. Supportive care was withdrawn, and the patient died two days later. A postmortem examination revealed no coronary artery disease or hemorrhagic transformation of the pontine cryptococcoma. CONCLUSION: Treatment with high-dose fluconazole was the probable cause of torsades de pointes in a patient with risk factors for this condition. The benefits and risks of using fluconazole should be carefully weighed for patients with risk factors for Q-T interval prolongation.",
keywords = "Aged Antifungal Agents/administration & dosage/*adverse effects/therapeutic use Fatal Outcome Female Fluconazole/administration & dosage/*adverse effects/therapeutic use Humans Meningitis, Cryptococcal/*drug therapy Risk Factors Torsades de Pointes/*chemically induced",
author = "McMahon, {J. H.} and Grayson, {M. L.}",
note = "McMahon, James H Grayson, M Lindsay Case Reports United States American journal of health-system pharmacy : AJHP : official journal of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2008 Apr 1;65(7):619-23.",
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Torsades de pointes in a patient receiving fluconazole for cerebral cryptococcosis. / McMahon, J. H.; Grayson, M. L.

In: Am J Health Syst Pharm, Vol. 65, No. 7, 2008, p. 619-623.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Torsades de pointes in a patient receiving fluconazole for cerebral cryptococcosis

AU - McMahon, J. H.

AU - Grayson, M. L.

N1 - McMahon, James H Grayson, M Lindsay Case Reports United States American journal of health-system pharmacy : AJHP : official journal of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2008 Apr 1;65(7):619-23.

PY - 2008

Y1 - 2008

N2 - PURPOSE: A case of torsades de pointes associated with fluconazole use is described. SUMMARY: A 68-year-old woman with a history of hypertension treated with 2.5 mg of indapamide for 16 months sought medical treatment after having two falls 1 month apart. A computed tomography scan and subsequent magnetic resonance imaging of the brain revealed a lesion in the left pons and middle cerebellar peduncle. Biopsy of the pontine lesion revealed large yeast forms and subsequently revealed Cryptococcus neoformans var. gattii. The patient was initially treated with conventional amphotericin B and flucytosine for six weeks. The first week of therapy was complicated by hypokalemia, hypomagnesemia, and an episode of atrial fibrillation that was managed with electrolyte replacement, commencement of metoprolol, and switching from conventional amphotericin B to amphotericin B lipid complex. After six weeks, liposomal amphotericin was discontinued and high-dose oral fluconazole was initiated. Six days after beginning fluconazole therapy, the patient had a generalized tonic-clonic seizure and suffered cardiopulmonary arrest. Postresuscitation, an electrocardiogram demonstrated a corrected Q-T interval of 556 msec. Recurrent episodes of torsades de pointes were also recorded postarrest. Fluconazole was discontinued at this time, and liposomal amphotericin B was resumed. Neurologic and electroencephalographic assessment conducted 48 hours postarrest revealed that significant neurologic damage had been sustained. Supportive care was withdrawn, and the patient died two days later. A postmortem examination revealed no coronary artery disease or hemorrhagic transformation of the pontine cryptococcoma. CONCLUSION: Treatment with high-dose fluconazole was the probable cause of torsades de pointes in a patient with risk factors for this condition. The benefits and risks of using fluconazole should be carefully weighed for patients with risk factors for Q-T interval prolongation.

AB - PURPOSE: A case of torsades de pointes associated with fluconazole use is described. SUMMARY: A 68-year-old woman with a history of hypertension treated with 2.5 mg of indapamide for 16 months sought medical treatment after having two falls 1 month apart. A computed tomography scan and subsequent magnetic resonance imaging of the brain revealed a lesion in the left pons and middle cerebellar peduncle. Biopsy of the pontine lesion revealed large yeast forms and subsequently revealed Cryptococcus neoformans var. gattii. The patient was initially treated with conventional amphotericin B and flucytosine for six weeks. The first week of therapy was complicated by hypokalemia, hypomagnesemia, and an episode of atrial fibrillation that was managed with electrolyte replacement, commencement of metoprolol, and switching from conventional amphotericin B to amphotericin B lipid complex. After six weeks, liposomal amphotericin was discontinued and high-dose oral fluconazole was initiated. Six days after beginning fluconazole therapy, the patient had a generalized tonic-clonic seizure and suffered cardiopulmonary arrest. Postresuscitation, an electrocardiogram demonstrated a corrected Q-T interval of 556 msec. Recurrent episodes of torsades de pointes were also recorded postarrest. Fluconazole was discontinued at this time, and liposomal amphotericin B was resumed. Neurologic and electroencephalographic assessment conducted 48 hours postarrest revealed that significant neurologic damage had been sustained. Supportive care was withdrawn, and the patient died two days later. A postmortem examination revealed no coronary artery disease or hemorrhagic transformation of the pontine cryptococcoma. CONCLUSION: Treatment with high-dose fluconazole was the probable cause of torsades de pointes in a patient with risk factors for this condition. The benefits and risks of using fluconazole should be carefully weighed for patients with risk factors for Q-T interval prolongation.

KW - Aged Antifungal Agents/administration & dosage/adverse effects/therapeutic use Fatal Outcome Female Fluconazole/administration & dosage/adverse effects/therapeutic use Humans Meningitis, Cryptococcal/drug therapy Risk Factors Torsades de Pointes/chemicall

U2 - 10.2146/ajhp070203

DO - 10.2146/ajhp070203

M3 - Article

VL - 65

SP - 619

EP - 623

JO - Am J Health Syst Pharm

JF - Am J Health Syst Pharm

SN - 1535-2900

IS - 7

ER -