Introduction: Candidaemia in critically-ill intensive care unit (ICU) patients is associated with high crude mortality. Determinants of mortality - particularly those amenable to potential modification - are incompletely defined. Methods: A nationwide prospective clinical and microbiological cohort study of all episodes of ICU-acquired candidaemia occurring in non-neutropenic adults was undertaken in Australian ICUs between 2001 and 2004. Multivariate Cox regression analyses were performed to determine independently significant variables associated with mortality. Results: 183 episodes of ICU-acquired candidaemia occurred in 183 patients during the study period. Of the 179 with microbiological data, Candida albicans accounted for 111 (62%) episodes and Candida glabrata, 32 (18%). Outcome data were available for 173: crude hospital mortality at 30 days was 56%. Host factors (older age, ICU admission diagnosis, mechanical ventilation and ICU admission diagnosis) and failure to receive systemic antifungal therapy were significantly associated with mortality on multivariate analysis. Among the subset who received initial fluconazole therapy (n = 93), the crude mortality was 52%. Host factors (increasing age and haemodialysis receipt), but not organism- (Candida species, fluconazole MIC), pharmacokinetic- (fluconazole dose, time to initiation), or pharmacodynamic-related parameters (fluconazole dose:MIC ratio) were associated with mortality. Process of care measures advocated in recent guidelines were implemented inconsistently: follow-up blood cultures were obtained in 68% of patients, central venous catheters removed within five days in 80% and ophthalmological examination performed in 36%. Conclusions: Crude mortality remains highin Australian ICU patients with candidaemia and is overwhelmingly related to host factors but not treatment variables (the time to initiation of antifungals or fluconazole pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic factors). The role and timing of early antifungal intervention in critically-ill ICU patients requires further investigation.