We investigated the treatment outcomes before and after the addition of amikacin to cefepime monotherapy as an initial empirical antibiotic treatment in pediatric cancer patients with febrile neutropenia.
This was a retrospective historical cohort study. The subjects were pediatric cancer patients who visited the emergency room at the Samsung Medical Center, Seoul, Korea, due to chemotherapy-induced febrile neutropenia, between January 2011 and December 2016. Since September 2014, the empirical antimicrobial treatment regimen for febrile neutropenia was changed from high-dose cefepime monotherapy to combination therapy of adding a single dose of amikacin.
Two hundred twenty-five bacteremia episodes in 164 patients were reported during the study period. Bacteremia caused by cefepime-resistant Gram-negative bacteria was observed in 16% of patients before September 2014 and in 21% of the patients after September 2014 (P = 0.331). Use of appropriate empirical antibiotic treatments increased from 62% to 83% following addition of amikacin to cefepime treatment (P = 0.003). The duration of fever was shorter in the cefepime plus amikacin group than in the cefepime group (22 vs. 34 hours, P = 0.014); however, rates of septic shock and pediatric intensive care unit hospitalizations were not significantly different between the 2 groups (septic shock, both 7%, P = 0.436; pediatric intensive care unit 3% vs. 1%, P = 0.647).
We observed no additional benefit of amikacin addition to high-dose cefepime monotherapy. Therefore, adding amikacin to cefepime monotherapy in conditions where cefepime-resistant Gram-negative bacteremia amounts to 20% or less may not be justified.