Journal Article

A European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer–International Antimicrobial Therapy Group Study of Secondary Infections in Febrile, Neutropenic Patients with Cancer

Murat Akova, Marianne Paesmans, Thierry Calandra and Claudio Viscoli

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 40, issue 2, pages 239-245
Published in print January 2005 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online January 2005 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/426815
A European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer–International Antimicrobial Therapy Group Study of Secondary Infections in Febrile, Neutropenic Patients with Cancer

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  • Microbiology

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Background. Neutropenic patients with cancer may develop several episodes of fever and infection during chemotherapy-induced myeloaplasia.

Methods. To identify risk factors for secondary infectious episodes among patients who responded to initial antibiotic therapy, we retrospectively analyzed 2 consecutive, prospective, randomized clinical trials performed by the International Antimicrobial Therapy Group of the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer during 1991–1994.

Results. Of 1720 patients with their first episode of febrile neutropenia, 836 responded to the initial antibiotic regimen and were therefore suitable for our analysis. A secondary infection was observed in 129 (15%) of 836 patients that occurred at a median of 10 days (range, 1–28 days) after the onset of the primary febrile episode. Factors at both baseline and day 4 were analyzed. Age of >16 years (odds ratio [OR], 3.46; P < .001), acute leukemia in first induction (OR, 3.17; P < .001), presence of intravenous line (OR, 1.88; P = .04), severe neutropenia (defined as an absolute granulocyte count of <100 cells/mm3) on day 4 (OR, 2.72; P < .001), and type of documentation of the primary episode (i.e., microbiologically documented cause or unexplained fever; OR, 2.56; P = .001) were found to be risk factors for secondary infection. The risk of death was higher among patients who developed a secondary infectious episode than among those who did not (5.4% vs. 1.4%; P < .01).

Conclusions. The clinical parameters described above may help to identify neutropenic patients at risk of developing secondary infection.

Journal Article.  3613 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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