Ciprofloxacin vs an aminoglycoside in combination with a beta-lactam for the treatment of febrile neutropenia: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Mayo Clin Proc. 2005 Sep;80(9):1146-56. doi: 10.4065/80.9.1146.


Objective: To compare the effectiveness and toxicity of ciprofloxacin vs an aminoglycoside, both in combination with a beta-lactam, for the treatment of febrile neutropenia in the inpatient setting.

Methods: For this meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that compared the ciprofloxacin/beta-lactam combination vs an aminoglycoside/beta-lactam combination for the treatment of febrile neutropenia and reported data on effectiveness, mortality, and/or toxicity, we searched PubMed (1950-2004), Current Contents, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and reference lists of retrieved articles, including review articles, as well as abstracts presented at international conferences. Data for 3 primary and 2 secondary outcomes were extracted by 2 investigators.

Results: Eight RCTs were included in the analysis. Comparable or better outcomes were observed with the ciprofloxacin/beta-lactam combination vs an aminoglycoside/beta-lactam combination: clinical cure without modification of the initial regimen (odds ratio [OR], 1.32; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.00-1.74; P=.05), clinical cure in the subset of patients with documented Infections (OR, 1.56; 95% CI, 1.05-2.31; P=.03), all-cause mortality (OR, 0.85; 95% CI, 0.54-1.35; P=.49), withdrawal of the study drugs due to toxicity (OR, 0.87; 95% CI, 0.57-1.32; P-.51), and nephrotoxicity (OR, 0.30; 95% CI, 0.16-0.59; P<.001). The ciprofloxacin/beta-lactam combination was also associated with better clinical cure compared to the aminoglycoside/beta-actam combination in the subset of RCTs with non-low-risk patients (OR, 1.38; 95% CI, 1.01-1.88; P=-.04), as well as in the subset of studies that included the same beta-lactam in both treatment arms (OR, 1.47; 95% CI, 1.06-2.05; P=.02).

Conclusion: The combination of ciprofloxacin with a beta-actam antibiotic should be considered an important therapeutic option in hospitalized febrile neutropenic patients who have not received a quinolone for prevention of infections and in settings in which quinolone resistance is not common.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Aminoglycosides / administration & dosage*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Ciprofloxacin / administration & dosage*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Fever / drug therapy*
  • Fever / etiology
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / complications
  • Neutropenia / drug therapy*
  • Neutropenia / etiology
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Treatment Outcome
  • beta-Lactams / administration & dosage*


  • Aminoglycosides
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • beta-Lactams
  • Ciprofloxacin