Infectious complications in neutropenic patients are a major cause of morbidity and mortality. Clinical signs are unspecific and fever can be attributed to other causes. Inflammatory biomarkers have emerged as potentially useful in diagnosis of bacterial and fungal infection. Levels of several biomarkers were measured in patients with hematological malignancy at diagnosis and at the beginning of neutropenia due to cytostatic treatment or after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, and daily until 6 days after presenting fever. Procalcitonin (PCT) and neopterin levels were not elevated at diagnosis or at the beginning of neutropenia. C-reactive protein (CRP) was moderately elevated. PCT levels were significantly higher in patients with Gram-negative bacteremia at 24-48 h after the onset of fever. Patients with probable fungal infection presented elevated PCT values when fever persisted for more than 4-5 days. CRP was more sensitive to predict bacteremia (both Gram-positive and Gram-negative) but the specificity was low. Neither neopterin, IL-6 nor IL-8 presented significant differences according to the origin or etiology of fever. Since it showed a high negative predictive value of Gram-negative bacteremia, clinical prediction rules that attempt to predict a high risk of severe infection might be improved by including measurement of PCT.
|Journal||Leukemia and Lymphoma|
|Publication status||Published - 29 Sep 2008|
- C reactive protein