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Leuk Lymphoma. 2008 Mar;49(3):495-501. doi: 10.1080/10428190701809172.

Neutropenic fever and severe sepsis in adult acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients receiving intensive chemotherapy: Causes and consequences.

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Department of Medicine, Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio, Finland.


The objective of this study was to evaluate etiology and consequences of neutropenic fever in AML patients. Two hundred and ninety neutropenic periods following chemotherapy in 84 AML patients were retrospectively evaluated. Neutropenic fever was found in 280 periods (97%). Severe sepsis developed in 35 occasions (13%) and 9 patients (11%) died due to severe sepsis. In 165 episodes with neutropenic fever (59%), the potential causative organism was found in blood cultures. Gram-negative bacteria were more commonly found in patients who developed severe sepsis (40% vs. 23%, p = 0.03). CRP after 2 - 3 days from start with fever was higher in patients with severe sepsis (190 mg/L vs. 96 mg/L, p < 0.001) but the rise in CRP rather coincided than preceded with the development of severe sepsis. Severe sepsis is associated with significant mortality in AML patients. Earlier methods than CRP are needed to predict development of severe sepsis.

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