Gastrointestinal Surgical Emergencies in the Neutropenic Immunocompromised Patient

J Gastrointest Surg. 2021 Dec;25(12):3258-3264. doi: 10.1007/s11605-021-05116-9. Epub 2021 Sep 10.


Surgeons encounter neutropenic patients through elective or emergency consultation with increasing regularity. As medical management continues to extend the lives of patients with benign hematologic diseases, hematologic malignancies, solid malignancies, or iatrogenic neutropenia, more patients are presenting with infectious complications caused and/or complicated by their neutropenia. This leaves surgeons in the difficult position of managing medically fragile patients with unusual presentations of common disease processes. These patients often fall outside of classical guidelines and treatment pathways. Many studies addressing these issues are retrospective and non-randomized. Here, we review common emergency gastrointestinal surgery scenarios and their management in the setting of a neutropenic patient. While biliary disease, appendicitis, anorectal disease, and perforations will be covered in detail, an extensive appreciation of a patient's medical or oncologic disease course and appropriate utilization of consultants such as interventional radiology, gastroenterology, and hematology is often necessary.

Keywords: Abscess; Neutropenia; Pneumoperitoneum.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Appendicitis*
  • Emergencies
  • Humans
  • Immunocompromised Host
  • Neutropenia* / etiology
  • Retrospective Studies