Journal Article

Discontinuation of Antimicrobial Therapy for Febrile, Neutropenic Children with Cancer: A Prospective Study

María Elena Santolaya, Milena Villarroel, Luis Fidel Avendaño and José Cofré

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 25, issue 1, pages 92-97
Published in print July 1997 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online July 1997 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/514500
Discontinuation of Antimicrobial Therapy for Febrile, Neutropenic Children with Cancer: A Prospective Study

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During a 2-year period, all children with cancer, neutropenia, and fever who were admitted to Hospital de Niños Luis Calvo Mackenna (Santiago, Chile) were enrolled in a study of the safety of stopping antibiotic therapy on day 3 of treatment. Children who met predefined criteria for nonbacterial fever were randomized on day 3 to stop (group A) or continue (group B) antibiotic therapy. A total of 220 children with cancer had 238 episodes of fever and neutropenia; 68 children with 75 episodes met entry criteria for nonbacterial fever (group A, 36; group B, 39). Both groups were comparable in terms of age, gender, oncological disease, chemotherapy status, and initial neutrophil count. Resolution of symptoms occurred in 34 of 36 episodes in group A and 36 of 39 episodes in group B (P > .05). No deaths occurred, and bacterial superinfections were uncommon. For children with cancer as well as episodes of fever and neutropenia without an identifiable bacterial etiology at admission, stopping antibiotic therapy on day 3 was safe and not associated with a higher risk of bacterial superinfections.

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

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