Prospective Study of Empiric Monotherapy with Ceftazidime for Low-Risk Grade IV Febrile Neutropenia after Cytotoxic Chemotherapy in Cancer Patients Academic Article uri icon


  • It was the aim of this study to evaluate the results of a prospective study in a single medical center using ceftazidime monotherapy in cancer patients with chemotherapy-induced grade IV febrile neutropenia and a low risk for gram-negative bacteremia. Thirty-eight patients were admitted with low-risk grade IV febrile neutropenia after chemotherapy for solid tumors. The median patient age was 57 years (range 18-74). Sixteen patients (42%) developed febrile neutropenia after the first cycle of current chemotherapy line, 9 patients (24%) received 2-3 cycles and 13 patients (34%) received more than 3 chemotherapy cycles before manifesting febrile neutropenia. Five patients were treated with prophylactic granulocyte colony-stimulating factor commenced 24 h after completion of the chemotherapy cycle. Empiric monotherapy with intravenous ceftazidime was started on admission and administered 2 g every 8 h. The mean polymorphic nuclear cell count on admission was 231 cells/mm(3). Ceftazidime therapy was well tolerated. Twenty-five (66%) patients responded with clinical improvement and complete resolution of fever within 48 h after initiation of ceftazidime therapy. Thirty-two (84%) patients were afebrile after 72 h of therapy. Thirty-three patients (87%) remained on unmodified ceftazidime therapy throughout their hospitalization. Five patients (13%) subsequently required modification of the treatment regimen for various reasons. Mean duration of fever and neutropenia were 2 (1-10) days and 4 (1-11) days, respectively. None of the patients discontinued therapy because of adverse effects. No positive blood cultures were obtained. No events of septic shock were observed. Mean duration of hospitalization was 6 days (range 3-12). In our series, monotherapy with intravenous ceftazidime appears safe and effective in cancer patients with low-risk grade IV febrile neutropenia after cytotoxic chemotherapy and may appreciably reduce antibiotics costs.

publication date

  • January 1, 2006