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DOI: 10.1017/ash.2022.338; PMCID: PMC9726632


Objective: To characterize antifungal prescribing patterns, including the indication for antifungal use, in hospitalized children across the United States.

Design: We analyzed antifungal prescribing data from 32 hospitals that participated in the SHARPS Antibiotic Resistance, Prescribing, and Efficacy among Children (SHARPEC) study, a cross-sectional point-prevalence survey conducted between June 2016 and December 2017.

Methods: Inpatients aged < 18 years with an active systemic antifungal order were included in the analysis. We classified antifungal prescribing by indication (ie, prophylaxis, empiric, targeted), and we compared the proportion of patients in each category based on patient and antifungal characteristics.

Results: Among 34,927 surveyed patients, 2,095 (6%) received at least 1 systemic antifungal and there were 2,207 antifungal prescriptions. Most patients had an underlying oncology or bone marrow transplant diagnosis (57%) or were premature (13%). The most prescribed antifungal was fluconazole (48%) and the most common indication for antifungal use was prophylaxis (64%). Of 2,095 patients receiving antifungals, 79 (4%) were prescribed > 1 antifungal, most often as targeted therapy (48%). The antifungal prescribing rate ranged from 13.6 to 131.2 antifungals per 1,000 patients across hospitals (P < .001).

Conclusions: Most antifungal use in hospitalized children was for prophylaxis, and the rate of antifungal prescribing varied significantly across hospitals. Potential targets for antifungal stewardship efforts include high-risk, high-utilization populations, such as oncology and bone marrow transplant patients, and specific patterns of utilization, including prophylactic and combination antifungal therapy.

Journal Title

Antimicrob Steward Healthc Epidemiol





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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (, which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution and reproduction, provided the original article is properly cited.

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