Deterioration of previous acute lung injury during neutropenia recovery

Crit Care Med. 2002 Apr;30(4):781-6. doi: 10.1097/00003246-200204000-00010.


Design: Although neutropenia recovery is associated with a high risk of deterioration of respiratory condition, no studies designed to identify risk factors for acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in this situation have been published.

Setting: Medical ICU in a French teaching hospital.

Subjects: We conducted a study to describe critically ill cancer patients with ARDS during neutropenia recovery (defined as the 7-day period centered on the day the neutrophil count rose above 1000/mm3 [day 0]) and to compare them with critically ill cancer patients without ARDS during neutropenia recovery.

Interventions: None.

Measurements and main results: During a 10-yr period, 62 critically ill cancer patients recovered from neutropenia, of whom 21 experienced ARDS during neutropenia recovery, with a median time of -1 days (-2.5-1) between day 0 and ARDS. In-ICU mortality in these 21 patients was 61.9%. As compared with non-ARDS patients, ARDS patients were less likely to have myeloma and more likely to have leukemia/lymphoma treated with adriamycin, a history of pneumonia before neutropenia, and a neutropenia duration >10 days; they had a shorter time since malignancy diagnosis and a longer time from chemotherapy to neutropenia. Neither the leukocyte counts on day 0 nor those during the 6-day neutropenia recovery period were predictive of ARDS.

Conclusions: Patients with acute respiratory failure after prolonged neutropenia complicated by pneumonia are at increased risk for ARDS.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Critical Illness
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / complications
  • Neutropenia / complications*
  • Pneumonia / complications
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / etiology
  • Risk Factors