- Defined as a fever >38°C (>101°F) for 1 hour, with an absolute neutrophil count (ANC) of ≤500 cells/microlitre, or an ANC ≤1000 cells/microlitre with a projected nadir of ≤500 cells/microlitre.
- It is the most common life-threatening complication of cancer therapy and is an oncological emergency.
- Empirical antibiotic therapy upon presentation has dramatically improved outcomes and decreased mortality from febrile neutropenia.
- A causative organism is only identified one third of the time, and therefore antibiotics are aimed at treating a broad spectrum of pathogens.
- Due to an inability to mount an inflammatory response, many patients with febrile neutropenia do not demonstrate localising signs or symptoms other than fever.
- Prophylactic antibiotics and growth factor support at the onset of neutropenia have only been shown to benefit a small subgroup of cancer patients receiving chemotherapy.
Other related conditions
- Assessment of neutropenia
- Assessment of fever of unknown origin
- Overview of leukaemia
- Acute lymphocytic leukaemia
- Acute myelogenous leukaemia
- Breast cancer in situ
- Primary invasive breast cancer
- Metastatic breast cancer
- Colorectal cancer
- Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
- Non-small cell lung cancer
- Small cell lung cancer
- Systemic candidiasis
- Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia
- Clostridium difficile-associated disease
Last updated: Nov 13, 2012