Journal Article

Neutropenic Enterocolitis: Spectrum of the Disease and Comparison of Definite and Possible Cases

L. Gomez, R. Martino and K. V. Rolston

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 27, issue 4, pages 695-699
Published in print October 1998 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online October 1998 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/514946
Neutropenic Enterocolitis: Spectrum of the Disease and Comparison of Definite and Possible Cases

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Twenty-nine cases of neutropenic enterocolitis (NEC) were identified from 1992 to June 1996, and their clinical, microbiological, and radiologic characteristics were reviewed. Eighteen of 29 episodes were considered to be definite NEC since abdominal computed tomographic or ultrasonographic findings (n = 14) and/or pathological findings (n = 7) were consistent with the diagnosis, whereas 11 were classified as possible NEC since these findings were normal or nondiagnostic. Abdominal pain, diarrhea, and fever occurred in nearly all cases in both groups, whereas bloody stools were more frequent and the duration of diarrhea was longer in definite cases. Other clinical, laboratory, and microbiological findings were of variable frequencies, with no apparent differences between groups. All 29 patients received medical/supportive treatment, and only five deaths were related to NEC. We conclude that NEC has a broad spectrum of clinical presentation, but patients whose imaging studies are positive appear to have a more serious form of the disease. Medical management appears appropriate in most cases, as the associated mortality rate is <20%.

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

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