Emerg Med J 26:802-806 doi:10.1136/emj.2008.064865
  • Original Article

Predicting the complicated neutropenic fever in the emergency department

Open Access
  1. J M Moon,
  2. B J Chun
  1. Department of Emergency Medicine, Chonnam National University Hospital, Gwangju, South Korea
    • Accepted 8 March 2009


    Objectives: The purpose of this study was to identify independent factors that can be used to predict whether febrile neutropenic patients who appear healthy at presentation will develop subsequent complications, using variables that are readily available in the emergency department (ED).

    Method: The medical records of 192 episodes in which the patients presented to the ED with neutropenic fever resulting from chemotherapy, with an alert mental state and haemodynamic stability were retrospectively reviewed. Endpoints examined were fever response to administered antibiotics, death or severe medical complications during hospitalisation.

    Results: Thirty-eight episodes of neutropenic fever with complicated outcomes were identified from among a total of 192 episodes. Three parameters emerged as independent factors for the prediction of neutropenic fever with complications in the multivariate regression analysis: platelet count (130−450 × 103 cells/mm3) <50 000 cells/mm3, serum C-reactive protein (CRP, 0.1–1 mg/dl) >10 mg/dl and pulmonary infiltration on chest x ray.

    Conclusions: Platelet count, CRP and pulmonary infiltration on chest x ray at presentation could be used to identify febrile neutropenic patients who will develop complications, and these factors may be useful in making treatment-related decisions in the ED.


    • Competing interests None.

    • Ethics approval This study was approved by the Chonnam National University Hospital institutional review board.

    • Contributors: GS Lee and YI Min, who did not know the purpose of the study, classified each episode as with or without complication. MH Sin provided the statistical advice.

    • Provenance and Peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

    Open Access

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