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ABSTRACT: Febrile neutropenia (FN) represents a spectrum of severity in which low-risk patients can be defined using the Multinational Association for Supportive Care in Cancer (MASCC) risk index. However, despite publication in 2000, there remains limited published literature to date to support the use of MASCC risk assessment in routine clinical practice and eligibility for early hospital discharge. In this study, we present our experience with the routine use of the MASCC risk index to determine the management of FN in our institution.
Patients treated for solid tumours or lymphomas with low-risk FN (MASCC score >/ or =21) were eligible for oral antibiotics (ciprofloxacin plus either co-amoxiclav or doxycycline) and for early hospital discharge irrespective of first or subsequent episode. The primary outcome was rate of resolution of FN without serious medical complications (SMC). Secondary outcomes were the "success" of antibiotic therapy without treatment modifications, duration of hospitalisation and rate of readmissions.
A total of 100 FN episodes occurring in 83 patients were treated over a 6-month period. Ninety of these episodes were low-risk (90%), of which 75 received oral antibiotics (83.3%) and 3 (3.3%) experienced SMC, and the success rate was 94.5% [95% confidence interval (CI) 89.6-99.3%] in low-risk episodes. The median duration of hospitalisation was 2.5 days (25th centile: 1.0 day; 75th centile: 5.0 days) in low-risk compared to 6.5 days (25th centile: 5.3 days; 75th centile: 9.3 days) in high-risk episodes (p = 0.003); 2 days for low-risk episodes treated with oral antibiotics compared to 4 days for low-risk receiving intravenous antibiotics (p = 0.015). Positive predictive value for the MASCC index was 96.7% (95% CI 95.0-98.6%).
The MASCC risk index is both feasible and safe when used in standard clinical practice to guide the management of FN in patients with solid tumours and lymphomas. Patients predicted to have low risk can be managed safely with oral antibiotics and early hospital discharge.
Supportive Care Cancer 06/2008; 16(5):485-91. · 2.65 Impact Factor