Caspofungin combined with TMP/SMZ as a first-line therapy for moderate-to-severe PCP in patients with human immunodeficiency virus infection.

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The effectiveness of trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (TMP/SMZ) for pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) is limited with adverse events. Caspofungin, by inhibiting the cyst form of Pneumocystis jirovecii, may be an alternative therapy for PCP. However, the availability of clinical data about caspofungin combined with TMP/SMZ in the treatment of PCP in HIV-infected patients is limited. Thus, we aimed to examine the clinical effectiveness and safety of caspofungin combined with TMP/SMZ as a first-line therapy for moderate-to-severe PCP in HIV-infected patients.From January 2017 to December 2019, data of HIV-infected patients with moderate-to-severe PCP who received either TMP/SMZ alone or caspofungin combined with TMP/SMZ as first-line therapy were retrospectively reviewed to assess the effectiveness and safety of each regimen. The Kaplan-Meier curve and log-rank test were used for survival analysis.A total of 278 patients met the criteria. The overall positive response rate of PCP treatment was 48.92%, and the overall all-cause in-hospital mortality rate was 33.09%. Patients who received combination therapy consisting of caspofungin and TMP/SMZ had a better positive response rate (59.44% vs. 37.78%, P  30 cells/µL and patients who received combination therapy consisting of caspofungin and TMP/SMZ were more likely to survive from PCP (P = 0.011 and P = 0.002, respectively). There were no additional severe adverse events caused by adding caspofungin.For HIV-infected patients with moderate-to-severe PCP, combination therapy with caspofungin and TMP/SMZ is an effective and promising first-line therapy with no greater number of adverse events compared with TMP/SMZ monotherapy. Patients who received caspofungin had better positive response rates and lower all-cause in-hospital mortality rates. Also, we recommend early initiation of caspofungin.

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