Bacteremia in childhood cancer

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Celkan T. T. , OZKAN A. , APAK H. , DIREN S. , Can G. , YUKSEL L., ...More

JOURNAL OF TROPICAL PEDIATRICS, vol.48, no.6, pp.373-377, 2002 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 48 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2002
  • Doi Number: 10.1093/tropej/48.6.373
  • Page Numbers: pp.373-377


Infection-related mortality affects the overall survival rates of children who are receiving treatment for cancer. The leading cause of mortality is bacteremia and sepsis related to it in febrile neutropenic patients. All positive blood cultures of febrile neutropenic patients treated in the Department of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology, Cerrahpasa Medical School, between January 1995 and January 2001 were reviewed. Cultures grew 159 micro-organisms, 95 (60 per cent) of which were Gram-positive bacteria, 56 (35 per cent) were Gram-negative bacteria and eight (5 per cent) were fungi. Coagulase-negative staphylococci (63, 40 per cent) and S. aureus (8, 5 per cent) were the most frequent Gram-positive pathogens. Klebsiella, E. coli, Enterobacter and Pseudomonas infections were the primary Gram-negative pathogens. Twenty cases were lost because of sepsis: in 11 cases (55 per cent) Gram-negative bacteria, in eight cases (40 per cent) Gram-positive bacteria, and in only one case a fungus were the causative organisms. Although vancomycin was not included in the first-line treatment, the mortality rate of Gram-positive bacteremia was 8 per cent. In Gram-negative bacteremia it was 20 per cent. Gram-negative pathogens, which were resistant to multiple antibiotics, caused the mortality. Drug resistance and mortality due to micro-organisms must be taken into consideration while febrile neutropenia protocols are prepared.