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Neutropenic enterocolitis.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: This review will cover the recent literature pertaining to the pathogenesis, diagnosis, and management of patients with neutropenic enterocolitis.

RECENT FINDINGS: Neutropenic enterocolitis, also referred to as typhlitis, is a life-threatening gastrointestinal complication of chemotherapy, most often associated with leukemia or lymphoma. Recently, a larger number of reports have been published of individuals presenting with this syndrome after being treated with newer chemotherapeutic agents for solid tumors such as non-small cell lung, ovarian, and peritoneal cancer, as well as following autologous stem cell transplantation. Recent studies have also better characterized computed tomographic and ultrasonographic features of this entity that can help differentiate neutropenic enterocolitis from other gastrointestinal complications. A newly published systematic analysis of the literature, which included 145 articles, defines appropriate diagnostic criteria and treatment recommendations.

SUMMARY: Neutropenic enterocolitis is a serious, potentially lethal complication of anticancer therapy. The studies discussed in this review will help the practitioner make an appropriate, early diagnosis and implement a therapeutic program that would improve the outcome of these patients.

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