Journal of medical microbiology

Determination of urinary D-/L-arabinitol ratios as a biomarker for invasive candidiasis in children with cardiac diseases.

PMID 20724507


A non-invasive, non-culture-based method of determining urinary D-/L-arabinitol (D-/L-ARA) ratios was investigated as a tool for the diagnosis of invasive candidiasis in nosocomial paediatric infection cases. The study encompassed 138 children aged 4 days to 16 years (mean ± SD=1.6 ± 4.2 years) with congenital heart defects (91.4%) or with rhythm disorders or circulatory failure (8.6%). ARA enantiomers were detected by GC using an electron capture detector. Positive D-/L-ARA ratios were found for 11/11 patients with proven candidiasis and 17/19 patients with clinically suspected invasive candidiasis. Thirty children were undergoing antifungal chemotherapy. D-/L-ARA ratios (mean ± SD) were 2.601 ± 0.544 in hospitalized cardiac patients without fungal infection and 5.120 ± 1.253 in those receiving antifungal therapy (P<0.001). The sensitivity of the method was 100%, the specificity 97.2%, the positive predictive value was 78.6% and the negative predictive value was 100%.