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Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2008 Dec;51(6):778-83. doi: 10.1002/pbc.21726.

Risk prediction of fever in neutropenia in children with cancer: a step towards individually tailored supportive therapy?

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Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Department of Pediatrics, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.



Fever in severe chemotherapy-induced neutropenia (FN) is the most frequent manifestation of a potentially lethal complication of current intensive chemotherapy regimens. This study aimed at establishing models predicting the risk of FN, and of FN with bacteremia, in pediatric cancer patients.


In a single-centre cohort study, characteristics potentially associated with FN and episodes of FN were retrospectively extracted from charts. Poisson regression accounting for chemotherapy exposure time was used for analysis. Prediction models were constructed based on a derivation set of two thirds of observations, and validated based on the remaining third of observations.


In 360 pediatric cancer patients diagnosed and treated for a cumulative chemotherapy exposure time of 424 years, 629 FN were recorded (1.48 FN per patient per year, 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.37-1.61), 145 of them with bacteremia (23% of FN; 0.34; 0.29-0.40). More intensive chemotherapy, shorter time since diagnosis, bone marrow involvement, central venous access device (CVAD), and prior FN were significantly and independently associated with a higher risk to develop both FN and FN with bacteremia. The prediction models explained more than 30% of the respective risks.


The two models predicting FN and FN with bacteremia were based on five easily accessible clinical variables. Before clinical application, they need to be validated by prospective studies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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