Treatment of febrile neutropenia: What is new?

Claudio Viscoli, Elio Castagnola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose of the review. To identify the more recent challenges in the treatment of patients with febrile neutropenia following antineoplastic chemotherapy or bone marrow transplant published in the English language in the period late 2000-early 2002 regarding: changes in etiology of bacteremia in neutropenic patients; new options for initial empirical antibacterial therapy; factors associated with the risk of developing infection in cancer patients; prediction of prognosis in febrile neutropenia; oral therapy; need for a specific anti-Gram-positive coverage in persistently febrile and neutropenic patients. Recent findings. Findings may be summarized according with the identified topics as follows: many centers are reporting an increase in the incidence of Gram-negative bacteremias; piperacillin-tazobactam could be safely administered as monotherapy of febrile neutropenia; congenital factors and intensity of chemotherapy and other medical interventions, such as antifungal prophylaxis, are recognized as of increasing importance in the determination of infectious risk; it is now possible to identify patients with a good prognosis (low risk) by means of validated scoring systems; oral therapy is feasible in low risk patients; the empirical addition of a glycopeptide in persistently febrile neutropenic patients is not indicated. Summary. Many of the identified points may have a great impact in the daily management of febrile granulocytopenic patients. However, all recent epidemiological and therapeutical studies underline the absoloute need for the knowledge of the pattern of infecting organisms in each center.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-382
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Infectious Diseases
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Empirical anti Gram-positive therapy
  • Febrile neutropenia
  • Identification of low risk patients
  • Oral therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Microbiology (medical)


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