We describe the incidence and characteristics of infections in children with severe congenital neutropenia (SCN), autoimmune neutropenia (AN) and idiopathic neutropenia (IN). Data extracted from the Italian Neutropenia Registry on 73 patients with 108 episodes of infections were collected from 2000 to 2009. All SCN patients with SCN and one third of AN and IN experienced at least 1 infectious episode, equating to 5.7 infections/patient in SCN and approximately 0.6 in AN and IN. The rate of infections before diagnosis of neutropenia was 6.35/1000 patient-days at risk in SCN, 0.48 in AN and 0.71 in IN (P < 0.001) and significantly decreased after diagnosis. Skin and subcutaneous abscesses and cellulitis were the most frequent types of infection encountered, followed by pneumonia. Infections are an important clinical issue in the management of neutropenic patients, even in those considered at lower risk.
From the *Haematology Unit, and †Infectious Diseases Unit, Giannina Gaslini Children’s Hospital, Genova; ‡Haemato-Oncology Unit, Meyer Children’s Hospital, Firenze; §Paediatric Clinic, University of Milan “La Bicocca,” Monza; ¶Department of Paediatrics, Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico IRCCS, Milano; ‖Department of Paediatrics, University of Bari, Bari; **Haemato-Oncology Unit, G. Di Cristina Children’s Hospital, Palermo; ††Unit of Paediatric Oncology and Haematology, S. Maria della Misericordia Hospital, Perugia; and ‡‡Paediatric and Onco-Hematology Unit, University Hospital of Parma, Parma, Italy.
Accepted for publication November 15, 2012.
The authors have no funding or conflicts of interest to disclose.
Address for correspondence: Elio Castagnola, MD, Infectious Diseases Unit, Giannina Gaslini Children’s Hospital, Largo G. Gaslini 5, 16147 Genova, Italy. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.