Prophylactic First-Line Antibiotics Reduce Infectious Fever and Shorten Hospital Stay during Chemotherapy-Induced Agranulocytosis in Childhood Acute Myeloid Leukemia

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid



There exists few pediatric data on the safety and efficacy of prophylactic antibiotics during chemotherapy-induced agranulocytosis.


We prospectively studied the incidence of infection-related fever in 38 children, aged 2-16 years, with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) over 121 chemotherapy treatment cycles. A prophylactic group (n = 18) was given either vancomycin/cefepime (400 mg/m2, q12 h/50 mg/kg, q12 h) or piperacillin/tazobactam (110 mg/kg, q12 h). Control patients (n = 20) received no preventive antibiotics.


The prophylactic group (59 treatment cycles) experienced fever less frequently than the control group (0.4 vs. 0.9 events; p < 0.001), had a longer interval between agranulocytosis and fever (6.4 vs. 3.8 days; p = 0.007), had a shorter duration of hospitalization (21.5 vs. 28.5 days; p < 0.001), and had a lower rate of lung infection (38.8 vs. 80.0%; p < 0.001). One patient taking vancomycin experienced a skin rash and 3 patients taking piperacillin/tazobactam had diarrhea; these side effects subsided after antibiotics were discontinued.


In children with AML, prophylactic antibiotics during the period of chemotherapy-induced agranulocytosis can effectively reduce the incidence of infectious fever and can shorten the average length of hospital stay, improving treatment success and quality of life.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles