Preventive antibiotics in pediatric patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML)

Dawn Nolt, Susan Lindemulder, Jeffrey Meyrowitz, Bill H. Chang, Suman Malempati, Gregory Thomas, Linda Stork

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background: Treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) comes with a significant risk of life-threatening infection during periods of prolonged severe neutropenia. We studied the impact of preventive intravenous (IV) antibiotic administration at onset of absolute neutropenia on the incidence and outcome of life-threatening infections during treatment of childhood AML. Procedures: This is a retrospective study on pediatric patients (aged 0-18 years) consecutively diagnosed with de novo AML and treated at a single institution from April 2005 through February 2013. Patients were treated on the Children's Oncology Group (COG) AAML0531 protocol or with a modified United Kingdom Medical Research Council (UK MRC) AML 10 regimen. Pertinent data were extracted from hard copy or electronic chart review. Results: A total of 76 chemotherapy phases were analyzed from 29 patients. In each phase reported, preventive antibiotics were initiated when the daily absolute neutrophil count was <500cells/mcl, before onset of fever. Seven episodes of bacteremia were documented with predominantly coagulase-negative staphylococci and viridans group streptococci. One infection-related death occurred, attributed to progressive respiratory failure occurring months after documented candidal pneumonia. Conclusions: Initiation of preventive antibiotics at the onset of absolute neutropenia was associated with no mortality from bacteremia This preventive approach appears feasible and safe. Pediatr Blood Cancer 2015;62:1149-1154.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1149-1154
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Blood and Cancer
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015


  • AML
  • Fever
  • Neutropenia
  • Preventive

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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