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Jpn J Clin Oncol. 2010 Aug;40(8):761-7. doi: 10.1093/jjco/hyq046. Epub 2010 Apr 28.

Piperacillin-tazobactam versus carbapenem therapy with and without amikacin as empirical treatment of febrile neutropenia in cancer patients: results of an open randomized trial at a university hospital.

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Department of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology, Zonguldak Karaelmas University School of Medicine, 67600 Zonguldak, Turkey.



Empirical beta-lactam monotherapy has become the standard therapy in febrile neutropenia. The aim of this study was to compare the efficacy and safety of piperacillin-tazobactam versus carbapenem therapy with or without amikacin in adult patients with febrile neutropenia.


In this prospective, open, single-center study, 127 episodes were randomized to receive either piperacillin-tazobactam (4 x 4.5 g IV/day) or carbapenem [meropenem (3 x 1 g IV/day) or imipenem (4 x 500 mg IV/day)] with or without amikacin (1 g IV/day). Doses were adjusted according to renal function. Clinical response was determined during and at completion of therapy.


One hundred and twenty episodes were assessable for efficacy (59 piperacillin-tazobactam, 61 carbapenem). Mean duration of treatment was 14.8 +/- 9.6 days in the piperacillin-tazobactam group and 14.7 +/- 8.8 days in the carbapenem group (P > 0.05). Mean days of fever resolution were 5.97 and 4.48 days for piperacillin-tazobactam and carbapenem groups, respectively (P > 0.05). Similar rates of success without modification were found in the piperacillin-tazobactam (87.9%) and in the carbapenem groups (75.4%; P > 0.05). Fungal infection occurrence rates were 30.5 and 18% in piperacillin-tazobactam and carbapenem groups, respectively (P = 0.05). Antibiotic modification rates were 30.5 and 13.1% (P = 0.02) and the addition of glycopeptides to empirical antibiotic regimens rates were 15.3 and 44.3% for piperacillin-tazobactam and carbapenem groups, respectively (P = 0.001). The rude mortality rates were 14% (6/43) and 29.3% (12/41) in piperacillin-tazobactam and carbapenem groups, respectively (P = 0.08).


The effect of empirical regimen of piperacillin-tazobactam regimen is equivalent to carbapenem in adult febrile neutropenic patients.

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