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    ABSTRACT: The use of oral prophylactic antibiotics in patients with neutropenia is controversial and not recommended by this group because of a lack of evidence showing a reduction in mortality and concerns that such practice promotes antimicrobial resistance. Recent evidence has demonstrated non-significant but consistent, improvement in all-cause mortality when fluoroquinolones (FQs) are used as primary prophylaxis. However, the consensus was that this evidence was not strong enough to recommend prophylaxis. The evidence base for FQ prophylaxis is presented alongside current consensus opinion to guide the appropriate and judicious use of these agents. Due consideration is given to patient risk, as it pertains to specific patient populations, as well as the net effect on selective pressure from antibiotics if FQ prophylaxis is routinely used in a target population. The potential costs and consequences of emerging FQ resistance, particularly among Escherichia coli, Clostridium difficile and Gram-positive organisms, are considered. As FQ prophylaxis has been advocated in some chemotherapy protocols, specific regard is given to whether FQ prophylaxis should be used to support these regimens. The group also provides recommendations for monitoring and surveillance of emerging resistance in those centres that have adopted FQ prophylaxis.
    Internal Medicine Journal 01/2011; 41(1b):102-9. · 1.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Administration of empiric antimicrobial therapy is standard practice in the management of neutropenic fever, but there remains considerable debate about the selection of an optimal regimen. In view of emerging evidence regarding efficacy and toxicity differences between empiric treatment regimens, and strong evidence of heterogeneity in clinical practice, the current guidelines were developed to provide Australian clinicians with comprehensive guidance for selecting an appropriate empiric strategy in the setting of neutropenic fever. Beta-lactam monotherapy is presented as the treatment of choice for all clinically stable patients while early treatment with combination antibiotic therapy is considered for patients at higher risk. Due consideration is given to the appropriate use of glycopeptides in this setting. Several clinical caveats, accounting for institution- and patient-specific risk factors, are provided to help guide the judicious use of the agents described. Detailed recommendations are also provided regarding time to first dose, timing of blood cultures, selection of a first-line antibiotic regimen, subsequent modification of antibiotic choice and cessation of therapy.
    Internal Medicine Journal 01/2011; 41(1b):90-101. · 1.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Endothelial barrier breakdown is a hallmark of septic shock, and proteins that physiologically regulate endothelial barrier integrity are emerging as promising biomarkers of septic shock development. Patients with cancer and febrile neutropenia (FN) present a higher risk of sepsis complications such as septic shock. Nonetheless, these patients are normally excluded or under-represented in sepsis biomarker studies. The aim of our study was to validate the measurement of a panel of microvascular permeability modulators as biomarkers of septic shock development in cancer patients with chemotherapy-associated FN. This was a prospective study of diagnostic accuracy, performed in two distinct in-patient units of a University Hospital. Levels of vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A), soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase-1 (sFlt-1) and angiopoietin (Ang) 1 and 2 were measured after the onset of neutropenic fever, in conditions designed to mimic the real-world use of a sepsis biomarker, based on our local practice. Patients were categorized based on the development of septic shock by 28 days as an outcome. 99 consecutive patients were evaluated in the study, of which 20 developed septic shock and 79 were classified as non-complicated FN. VEGF-A and sFlt-1 levels were similar between both outcome groups. In contrast, Ang-2 concentrations were increased in patients with septic shock, whereas an inverse finding was observed for Ang-1, resulting in a higher Ang-2/Ang-1 ratio in patients with septic shock (5.29, range 0.58-57.14) compared to non-complicated FN (1.99, range 0.06-64.62; P = 0.01). After multivariate analysis, the Ang-2/Ang-1 ratio remained an independent factor for shock septic development and 28-day mortality. A high Ang-2/Ang-1 ratio can predict the development of septic shock in cancer patients with febrile neutropenia.
    Critical care (London, England) 08/2013; 17(4):R169. · 4.72 Impact Factor

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