Fever and neutropenia in pediatric patients with cancer

Emerg Med Clin North Am. 2009 Aug;27(3):525-44. doi: 10.1016/j.emc.2009.04.007.


Aggressive treatment of childhood cancers including systemic antineoplastic and radiation therapy has secondary effects on a variety of normal cells including hematopoietic elements of the bone marrow, often causing neutropenia. Neutropenia increases the risk for serious infection and is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. The approach to the treatment of the febrile neutropenic pediatric patient has evolved considerably because high- and low-risk criteria have been defined and broad-spectrum antibiotics developed. This article reviews the concepts involved in the evaluation and management of febrile, neutropenic, pediatric cancer patients.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Infective Agents / therapeutic use
  • Blood Cell Count
  • Child
  • Colony-Stimulating Factors / therapeutic use
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Erythrocyte Transfusion
  • Fever / physiopathology*
  • Fever / therapy
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Medical History Taking
  • Neoplasms / physiopathology*
  • Neutropenia / physiopathology*
  • Neutropenia / therapy
  • Opportunistic Infections / physiopathology
  • Physical Examination
  • Pituitary Diseases / physiopathology
  • Pituitary Diseases / therapy
  • Platelet Transfusion
  • Risk Factors


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Colony-Stimulating Factors