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The Neutropenic Diet: What's the Evidence?

Moody, Karen M.D.; Charlson, Mary E. M.D.; Finlay, Jonathan M.B., Ch.B.

Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology: December 2002 - Volume 24 - Issue 9 - p 717-721

Despite improved survival of children with cancer, opportunistic infections remain a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in this population. Several interventions have been tried to decrease the incidence of infection by reducing patients' exposure to bacteria during neutropenia. The neutropenic diet is one such intervention that was intended to limit the introduction of bacteria into the host's gastrointestinal tract. The only studies evaluating this diet have used this strategy in combination with multiple other interventions, and the independent effect of this diet remains unknown. More research about the neutropenic diet is needed to establish its effectiveness in clinical practice.

From New York University Hospital and Medical Center, New York, New York, U.S.A. (K.M., J.F.), and Division of General Internal Medicine, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, New York, U.S.A. (M.E.C.).

Submitted for publication January 10, 2002; accepted June 24, 2002.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Karen Moody, M.D., Weill Medical College, Cornell University, Division of General Medicine, 525 East 68th St., Box 46, New York, NY 10021, U.S.A. E-mail:

© 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.