Neutropenic enterocolitis in breast cancer patient after taxane-containing chemotherapy

Acta Med Indones. 2008 Jan;40(1):29-33.


Neutropenic enterocolitis or typhlitis (from the Greek typhlon, meaning caecum) is defined as a necrotizing colitis with inflammation of the cecum and surrounding tissues. Although this condition occurs primarily in severely myelosuppressed and immunosuppressed patients with leukemia, it may also occur in those with other advanced malignancies receiving myelosuppressive chemotherapy. It has been described most recently in patients with solid tumors who receive taxane-based therapy. A 60-year old woman with medullary breast cancer stage IIIB underwent neoadjuvant chemotherapy with TAC (doxetaxele 100 mg/m2, doxorubicin 50 mg/m2 and cyclophosphamide 600 mg/m2). Sixth day after TAC chemotherapy, she had abdominal pain and vomiting. Abdomen CT scan showed diffuse circumferential thickening of ileum wall typical for ileitis, narrowing of the lumen, disturbance of peristaltic. This abdomen CT scan was thought as abnormality pictures of neutropenic enterocolitis. Neutropenic enterocolitis should be considered in patients with abdominal symptoms especially during the granulocyte nadir following chemotherapy. Increased awareness of this rapidly progressive and potentially fatal disease leads to accurate diagnosis and the prompt treatment that can decrease morbidity and mortality.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Pain / etiology
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Breast Neoplasms / complications
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Cyclophosphamide / administration & dosage
  • Cyclophosphamide / adverse effects
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Doxorubicin / administration & dosage
  • Doxorubicin / adverse effects
  • Enterocolitis, Neutropenic / chemically induced*
  • Enterocolitis, Neutropenic / drug therapy
  • Enterocolitis, Neutropenic / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Neutropenia / chemically induced
  • Neutropenia / complications
  • Taxoids / administration & dosage
  • Taxoids / adverse effects
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed


  • Taxoids
  • Doxorubicin
  • Cyclophosphamide

Supplementary concepts

  • TAC protocol