The relationship of fever, granulocytopenia and antimicrobial therapy to bacteremia in cancer patients

Fred A. Gill, R. Robinson, James D. Maclowry, Arthur S. Levine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Scopus citations


The relationship of fever, granulocytopenia, and antimicrobial thereapy to bacteremia was studied retrospectively in 53 cancer patients. Severe granulocytopenia was present at the time blood cultures were positive in 27 of 31 episodes of bacteremia. Twenty‐five episodes of bacteremia were documented before the initiation of antimicrobial therapy in patients who were granulocytopenic and febrile. No bacteremia occurred in the absence of fever. Only two bacteremias occurred while patients were receiving parenteral antimicrobials. Antimicrobial therapy was terminated 30 times in the presence of granulocytopenia and fever, and subsequent bacteremia occurred in 14 patients within 4 days. Patients who died with fungal disease did not receive more antibiotics than patients who died without fungal disease. These data suggest a rationale for long‐term use of antimicrobial therapy in patients with persistent granulocytopenia and fever.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1704-1709
Number of pages6
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1977


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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