Most patients with chemotherapy-induced febrile neutropenia recover rapidly without serious complications. However, it still remains a life-threatening treatment-related toxicity, and is associated with dose reductions and delays of chemotherapeutic agents that may compromise treatment outcomes. Recent developments of risk stratification enabled early discharge with oral antibiotics for low-risk patients. However, even in low-risk patients, medical complications including bacteremia could happen. The authors reviewed recent literature to provide an update on research regarding predictive factors for poor prognosis in patients with febrile neutropenia.
Various prognostic factors have been suggested with controversies. Hematological parameters, prophylactic measurements and patient-specific risk factors showed inconsistent results. MASCC risk-index score, which was originally developed to identify low-risk patients, in turn showed that the lower the MASCC score, the poorer the prognosis of febrile neutropenia, with very low levels (<15), the rate of complications was high. Patients with severe sepsis and septic shock commonly had procalcitonin concentration above 2.0 ng/ml, and this level should be considered at high risk of poor prognosis.
Lower MASCC score and higher procalcitonin concentration can predict poor outcomes in febrile neutropenia. More research is required with regard to the other factors showing controversies.
Department of Emergency Medicine, Cancer Emergency, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
Correspondence to Yoon-Seon Lee, MD, PhD, Department of Emergency Medicine, Cancer Emergency, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, 388-1, Pungnap-dong, Songpa-gu, Seoul 138-736, Korea. Tel: +82 2 3010 5905; fax: +82 2 3010 3360; e-mail: email@example.com