Your institution is subscribed to Read Institutional Edition. Log in or Sign Up to read full text articles.


Neutropenic enterocolitis in adults: systematic analysis of evidence quality

Marcus Gorschlüter, Ulrich Mey, John Strehl, Carsten Ziske, Michael Schepke, Ingo G H Schmidt-Wolf, Tilman Sauerbruch, Axel Glasmacher
European Journal of Haematology 2005, 75 (1): 1-13

OBJECTIVE: Neutropenic enterocolitis is a life-threatening complication occurring most frequently after intensive chemotherapy in acute leukaemias. The literature is heterogeneous and a systematic review is lacking.

METHODS: Following a systematic search we categorised all relevant reports according to their quality and extracted evidence to answer the questions: Which diagnostic criteria are appropriate? What is the incidence of neutropenic enterocolitis? Are there good quality studies supporting specific interventions: Which empiric antimicrobial therapy is recommendable? Is neutropenic enterocolitis without surgical emergency complications an indication for bowel resection?

RESULTS: We found and analysed 145 articles of these reports: 64 were reports of single cases, 30 papers reported of two or three cases, 13 were narrative reviews, 34 were retrospective case series of more than three cases and four were prospective diagnostic studies. There were no prospective trials or case control studies on the therapy of neutropenic enterocolitis. There was no consensus on diagnostic criteria. We discuss the difficulty to define diagnostic criteria without having a disease definition. Histology is mostly not available in the living patients. We suggest applying a combination of clinical and radiological criteria: fever, abdominal pain and any bowel wall thickening >4 mm detected by ultrasonography (US) or computed tomography. We calculated a pooled incidence rate from 21 studies of 5.3% (266/5058; 95% CI: 4.7%-5.9%) in patients hospitalised for haematological malignancies, for high-dose chemotherapy in solid tumours or for aplastic anaemia.

CONCLUSIONS: This systematic review provides diagnostic criteria for neutropenic enterocolitis, presents a quantitative synthesis on its incidence and discusses its treatment recommendations. Prospective studies are clearly warranted.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"

We want to hear from doctors like you!

Take a second to answer a survey question.