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Am J Med. 1984 Mar;76(3):421-8.

Neutropenia, fever, and infection.


With the advances in the management of various neoplastic diseases and subsequent improvement in "disease-free" states, complications of therapy--particularly, infectious complications--have evolved as stumbling blocks to survival. Among neutropenic (absolute neutrophil count below 1,000/mm3) patients with cancer, infection is the major autopsy-determined cause of death. With expected "cure rates" of childhood leukemia approaching 60 to 70 percent, it seems unreasonable to lose such patients to an infectious cause of death, yet this, indeed, happens. The purpose of this review is to (1) define the magnitude of the problem; (2) describe the various agents responsible for infections in neutropenic patients; (3) attempt to more sharply define degrees of neutropenia and mechanical defenses; and (4) consider various approaches to studying and treating these infections.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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