Medical Practice

Fever in the Neutropenic Patient

Br Med J 1974; 3 doi: (Published 20 July 1974) Cite this as: Br Med J 1974;3:160
  1. K. Atkinson,
  2. H. E. M. Kay,
  3. T. J. McElwain


    A total of 100 consecutive episodes of fever of 101° F (38·3°C) or above in 56 neutropenic patients have been investigated. All the patients had either acute leukaemia or aplastic anaemia. A cause for the fever was found in 68 of these episodes, in 87% of which it was due to infection. The commonest single finding was septicaemia (30 episodes). Only two episodes of fever could be ascribed solely to the underlying malignant disease.

    Infection should be assumed to be present and the cause of fever in neutropenic patients until proved otherwise.

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