Factors and Outcomes Related to the Use of Guideline-Recommended Antibiotics in Patients With Neutropenic Fever at the Uganda Cancer Institute

Open Forum Infect Dis. 2021 Jun 10;8(7):ofab307. doi: 10.1093/ofid/ofab307. eCollection 2021 Jul.


BACKGROUND: Neutropenic fever (NF) is associated with significant morbidity and mortality for patients receiving cancer treatment in sub-Saharan Africa (sSA). However, the antibiotic management of NF in sub-Saharan Africa has not been well described. We evaluated the timing and selection of antibiotics for patients with NF at the Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI).

METHODS: We conducted a retrospective chart review of adults with acute leukemia admitted to UCI from 1 January 2016 to 31 May 2017, who developed NF. For each NF event, we evaluated the association of clinical presentation and demographics with antibiotic selection as well as time to both initial and guideline-recommended antibiotics. We also evaluated the association between ordered antibiotics and the in-hospital case fatality ratio (CFR).

RESULTS: Forty-nine NF events occurred among 39 patients. The time to initial antibiotic order was <1 day. Guideline-recommended antibiotics were ordered for 37 (75%) NF events. The median time to guideline-recommended antibiotics was 3 days. Fever at admission, a documented physical examination, and abdominal abnormalities were associated with a shorter time to initial and guideline-recommended antibiotics. The in-hospital CFR was 43%. There was no difference in in-hospital mortality when guideline-recommended antibiotics were ordered as compared to when non-guideline or no antibiotics were ordered (hazard ratio, 0.51 [95% confidence interval {CI}, .10-2.64] and 0.78 [95% CI, .20-2.96], respectively).

CONCLUSIONS: Patients with acute leukemia and NF had delayed initiation of guideline-recommended antibiotics and a high CFR. Prospective studies are needed to determine optimal NF management in sub-Saharan Africa, including choice of antibiotics and timing of antibiotic initiation.

PMID:34262989 | PMC:PMC8275883 | DOI:10.1093/ofid/ofab307