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Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 1998 Sep-Oct;15(5):405-13.

Fever and neutropenia in children with cancer in one pediatric hospital in Argentina.

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  • 1Department of Infectious Diseases, Hospital de PediatrĂ­a, Buenos Aires, Argentina. hpaganini@intramed.net.ar


The authors retrospectively analyzed 863 episodes of neutropenia and fever in 635 children with cancer or hematological disease hospitalized between October 1988 and November 1994. The most frequent underlying diseases were solid tumors (45%) and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (29%). Clinical site of infection could be determined in 454 (53%) episodes. Bacteremia was documented in 114 (13%) cases. Gram-positive cocci were the microorganisms most frequently isolated (47% of the cases). Noninfectious complications could be determined in 140 (16%) episodes, and were mainly severe bleeding and metabolic impairment. The episodes were divided in two groups for comparative evaluation: group A, 404 episodes, study period 1988-1991, and group B, 459 episodes, 1992-1994. According to the results, more patients in group A than group B were younger than 1 year old and had profound neutropenia; fewer patients in group A than group B had an endovascular catheter, a higher frequency of manifest clinical site of infection at admission, and a prevalence of isolation of gram-negative bacilli. A higher percentage of patients in group B had neutropenia of more than 14 days, gram-positive cocci in culture, and lower mortality. Multivariate analysis by logistic regression in 340 patients revealed that the presence of a severe noninfectious complication, severe neutropenia, and positive blood culture correlated with high mortality rate (p < or = 0.001).

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