Introduction: Despite a low bacteremia rate, pediatric oncology patients are frequently admitted for febrile neutropenia. A pediatric risk prediction model with high sensitivity to identify patients at low risk for bacteremia is not available. We performed a single-institution prospective cohort study of pediatric oncology patients with febrile neutropenia to create a risk prediction model using clinical factors, respiratory viral infection, and cytokine expression.
Materials and Methods: Pediatric oncology patients with febrile neutropenia were enrolled between March 30, 2010 and April 1, 2011 and managed per institutional protocol. Blood samples for C-reactive protein and cytokine expression and nasopharyngeal swabs for respiratory viral testing were obtained. Medical records were reviewed for clinical data. Statistical analysis utilized mixed multiple logistic regression modeling.
Results: During the 12-month period, 195 febrile neutropenia episodes were enrolled. There were 24 (12%) episodes of bacteremia. Univariate analysis revealed several factors predictive for bacteremia, and interleukin (IL)-8 was the most predictive variable in the multivariate stepwise logistic regression. Low serum IL-8 predicted patients at low risk for bacteremia with a sensitivity of 0.9 and negative predictive value of 0.98.
Conclusions: IL-8 is a highly sensitive predictor for patients at low risk for bacteremia. IL-8 should be utilized in a multi-institution prospective trial to assign risk stratification to pediatric patients admitted with febrile neutropenia.