Management of chemotherapy-induced neutropenic fever.
Hosp Pract (Minneap). 2013 Feb;41(1):96-108
Authors: Bhardwaj AS, Navada SC
Fever occurs at high rates in patients with chemotherapy-induced neutropenia and is considered an oncologic emergency. Numerous algorithms have been developed to guide treatment decisions. Prompt care and the initiation of empiric antibiotic therapy are critically important universal aspects of these treatment-decision schemata. Fever may be the only sign of infection, as in patients with cancer who are undergoing chemotherapy, the immune response is attenuated. In the majority of cases, no etiology for neutropenic fever is uncovered; nonetheless, a thorough workup is essential. The workup allows practitioners to risk stratify patients as being at low or high risk for infectious complications so that appropriate care can be administered. Although it is important to note that there are management algorithms to follow, every patient may present and respond differently. We generally start with broad-spectrum monotherapy for Gram-negative bacteria and then consider whether Gram-positive or antifungal coverage is necessary based on the clinical picture, including factors such as duration and degree of neutropenia. It is important for all practitioners to understand how to care for patients with neutropenic fever because it is a common and treatable condition.
PMID: 23466972 [PubMed - in process]