Background and Aim: Early diagnosis of sepsis in children with febrile neutropenia and cancer still remains a challenge for modern medicine because of lack of specific laboratory markers and clinical signs especially at the beginning of the infection. The objective of this study was to evaluate the ability of interleukin-6 and interleukin-8 to predict bacteremia and sepsis during the first 2 days in oncohematologic patients with febrile neutropenia.
Patients and Methods: A total of 61 febrile neutropenic episodes in 37 children were studied. Serum samples were collected on day 1 and day 2 from the onset of fever and analyzed using an automated random access analyzer.
Results: Neutropenic children with febrile episodes were classified into the following 2 groups: (1) fever of unknown origin group—patients with a negative blood culture—and (2) bacteremia/sepsis group—patients with a positive blood culture or clinical sepsis. High negative predictive values were found on day 1 for interleukin-6 and interleukin-8 (89% and 82%, respectively) for exclusion of bacteremia/sepsis.
Conclusions: These interleukins could be used as a screening tool for the rejection of sepsis or bacteremia on the first day of fever in neutropenic children with cancer.