Objective: To evaluate the diagnostic yield of fungal smears and cultures from bronchial lavage and wash specimens obtained from immunocompetent patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) because respiratory tract samples from patients in the ICU often undergo extensive microbiological testing. Patients and Methods: In total, we enrolled 112 immunocompetent adult patients treated in the medical and surgical ICU between July 1, 2016, and June 30, 2017. We evaluated whether the results of fungal smears and cultures of specimens obtained from bronchoscopy and bronchoalveolar lavage changed patient care. Results: In total, 131 bronchoscopic specimens and 31 bronchoalveolar lavage specimens were tested for fungi. Cultures were held for an estimated 4680 culture-days. Two results changed patient therapy. In both cases, other routine tests provided the same information as fungal culture before these results were returned. Conclusion: In immunocompetent, critically ill patients, fungal culture of respiratory tract specimens does not add diagnostic value. Routine fungal culture of respiratory tract specimens should be discouraged in this population.
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