Relapse of a preceding fungal infection is a considerable risk during haemopoietic stem cell transplantation. The optimal secondary prophylaxis has not been found so far since the application of standard drugs is hampered by potential ineffectiveness or intolerable side effects. This investigation describes haemopoietic cell transplantation of patients with a history of invasive or systemic fungal infection (IFI). The strategy was either administration of liposomal amphotericin B as secondary prophylaxis or an early switch to liposomal amphotericin B after administration of azoles. The 43 patients had a history of proven (n = 14), probable (n = 14) and possible (n = 15) IFI. Twenty-eight patients (65%) could be discharged from the BMT ward without signs of mycosis. Transplant-related mortality was 35%. Overall, 12 fungus-related (IFI) deaths (28%) occurred. The percentage of fungus-related deaths was highest in the ‘proven’ group with 43% compared to 20 and 21% in the two other groups. Side effects of liposomal amphotericin B were low. A discontinuation of the drug was not necessary in any patient. Serum creatinine showed a slight increase to 128% (median) of the baseline allowing continuous administration of concomitant nephrotoxic drugs such as cyclosporin A. In conclusion, secondary prophylaxis with or early switch to liposomal amphotericin B facilitates allogeneic stem cell transplantation of patients with a history of IFI with minor side effects. However, fungal infections and transplant-related mortality remain major problems in this often heavily pretreated subgroup of patients.

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