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Concept: Febrile neutropenia


BACKGROUND: Healthcare claims databases have been used in several studies to characterize the risk and burden of chemotherapy-induced febrile neutropenia (FN) and effectiveness of colony-stimulating factors against FN. The accuracy of methods previously used to identify FN in such databases has not been formally evaluated. METHODS: Data comprised linked electronic medical records from Geisinger Health System and healthcare claims data from Geisinger Health Plan. Subjects were classified into subgroups based on whether or not they were hospitalized for FN per the presumptive “gold standard” (ANC <1.0x109/L, and body temperature >=38.30C or receipt of antibiotics) and claims-based definition (diagnosis codes for neutropenia, fever, and/or infection). Accuracy was evaluated principally based on positive predictive value (PPV) and sensitivity. RESULTS: Among 357 study subjects, 82 (23%) met the gold standard for hospitalized FN. For the claims-based definition including diagnosis codes for neutropenia plus fever in any position (n=28), PPV was 100% and sensitivity was 34% (95% CI: 24–45). For the definition including neutropenia in the primary position (n=54), PPV was 87% (78–95) and sensitivity was 57% (46–68). For the definition including neutropenia in any position (n=71), PPV was 77% (68–87) and sensitivity was 67% (56–77). CONCLUSIONS: Patients hospitalized for chemotherapy-induced FN can be identified in healthcare claims databases–with an acceptable level of mis-classification–using diagnosis codes for neutropenia, or neutropenia plus fever.

Concepts: Medicine, Health insurance, Positive predictive value, Negative predictive value, Thermoregulation, Hyperthermia, Fever, Febrile neutropenia


Background Recently, due to inadequacies during immediate management of patients with febrile neutropenia, a new gold standard ‘door-to-needle’ time of 1 hour for the administration of intravenous antibiotics was introduced. Objective The aim of this audit was to identify whether that target was being met in our emergency department (ED). This is phase 1 of the study which will be followed by identification of barriers to the achievement of the target and recommendations for improvement. Materials and methods Data were collected from January 2013 to April 2013 of consecutive patients (adult and pediatric age group) who presented to the ED with febrile neutropenia for various underlying causes. Fever was defined as single oral temperature of >38.3°C (101°F) or a temperature of >38.0°C (100.4°F) sustained for more than 1 hour. Neutropenia was defined as absolute neutrophil count <0.5 × 10(9)/l, or expected to fall below that number. Variables analyzed included age, gender, antibiotics administered, underlying diagnosis, day of presentation, and door-to-needle time. Results During the study period, there were n = 81 patients who presented with febrile neutropenia. There were n = 49 were males and n = 32 were females. There were n = 37 patients in the pediatric age group while rest were adults. Patients most commonly had an underlying hematological malignancy (n = 49). A combination of piperacillin/tazobactam (4.5 g × Q8hrly) and amikacin (750 mg × once daily) was most frequently administered (n = 57) to these patients. The median door-to-needle time was 45 minutes (range ± SD: 10 minutes to 6 hours ± 1 hour 10 minutes). Long delays of over 4 hours occurred in n = 4 patients (all were adults). There were minimal delays observed in pediatric patients due to 'red alert' policy implementation. Long delays occurred on weekdays and weekends, equally. Conclusion The overall median door-to-needle time was 45 minutes, which was in the accepted range. However, delays that occurred demand improvements like introducing 'red alert' policy for adult patients, counseling of staff and residents, identifying potential barriers in achieving the target time along with solutions, and developing hospital-based guidelines on managing patients with neutropenic sepsis.

Concepts: White blood cell, Oncology, Hematology, Fever, Hematological malignancy, Neutropenia, Absolute neutrophil count, Febrile neutropenia


Febrile neutropenia remains a common, life-threatening complication of chemotherapy in paediatric oncology. Delays in institution of empiric antibiotics have been identified at tertiary and regional centres caring for these patients and associated with decreased survival. Our objective was to reduce the time to administration of empiric antibiotics to less than 60 min from the time of presentation to hospital.

Concepts: Medicine, Cancer, Oncology, Chemotherapy, Physician, Management, Fever, Febrile neutropenia


Information on the efficacy of extended meropenem administration in neutropenic patients is scarce. Our objective was to determine whether the administration of meropenem in a 4 h extended infusion (EI) leads to a better clinical outcome in patients with febrile neutropenia than the conventional short infusion (SI).

Concepts: Observational study, Effectiveness, Retrospective, Neutropenia, Febrile neutropenia


The symptoms of infection can be minimal or absent in patients with febrile neutropenia at first. The focal site of infection, which may be the main cause of a fever or be a complication of neutropenia, can develop as neutrophils increase during the clinical course of febrile neutropenia.

Concepts: Medical terms, Infection, Symptoms, Fever, Febrile neutropenia


Immediate empirical antibiotic therapy is mandatory in febrile chemotherapy-induced neutropenia, but its optimal duration is unclear, especially in patients with fever of unknown origin (FUO).

Concepts: Infection, Symptoms, Antibiotic, Fever, Fever of unknown origin, Febrile neutropenia


Patients with febrile neutropenia are a heterogeneous group with a minority developing serious medical complications. Outpatient management of low-risk febrile neutropenia has been shown to be safe and cost-effective. Scoring systems, such as the Multinational Association for Supportive Care in Cancer (MASCC) score and Clinical Index of Stable Febrile Neutropenia (CISNE), have been developed and validated to identify low-risk patients. We aimed to compare the performance of these two scores in identifying low-risk febrile neutropenic patients.

Concepts: Oncology, Scores, Fever, Neutropenia, Febrile neutropenia


Objective The objective of this study was to determine the clinical impact of time to antibiotic administration in adult inpatients who have hematologic malignancies and develop febrile neutropenia. Methods A retrospective chart review was conducted to screen for all febrile neutropenia events amongst adult hematologic malignancy patients between 1 January 2010 and 1 September 2014. All included patients were admitted to the hospital at the time of fever onset, having been admitted for a diagnosis other than febrile neutropenia. Descriptive statistics and logistic generalized estimated equations were used to analyze the data. Results Two hundred forty-four neutropenic fever events met inclusion criteria. Thirty-five events (14.34%) led to negative clinical outcomes (in-hospital mortality, intensive care unit transfer, or vasopressor requirement), with an in-house mortality rate of 7.4%. The time to antibiotics ranged from 10 min to 1495 min. The median time to antibiotics in the events that led to negative outcomes was 120 min compared to 102 min in the events that did not lead to the negative outcome ( p = 0.93). Conditional order sets were used to order empiric antibiotics in 176 events (72.1%) and significantly reduced time to antibiotics from 287 min to 143 min ( p = 0.0019). Conclusion Prolonged time to antibiotic administration in hematologic malignancy patients who develop neutropenic fever was not shown to be associated with negative clinical outcomes.

Concepts: Medicine, Oncology, Medical statistics, Hematology, Fever, Hematological malignancy, Neutropenia, Febrile neutropenia


This randomized prospective study was designed to assess whether piperacillin/tazobactam (PIPC/TAZ) is as effective as meropenem (MEPM) as a first-line antibiotic treatment for febrile neutropenia (FN).

Concepts: Randomized controlled trial, Blood disorders, Antibiotic, Neutropenia, Febrile neutropenia


In Norway, initial treatment of febrile neutropenia (FN) has traditionally been benzylpenicillin plus an aminoglycoside (PA). Internationally, FN is often treated with a broad-spectrum β-lactam antibiotic. We aimed to compare these two regimens in a prospective, randomized, trial in lymphoma and leukaemia patients with an expected period of neutropenia ≥7days, and a suspected bacterial infection.

Concepts: Bacteria, Virus, Infection, Chemotherapy, Fever, Penicillin, Febrile neutropenia