Thursday, October 26, 2017

What are the best agents for fever and neutropenia?


To compare the effectiveness and safety of antipseudomonal β-lactam empiric monotherapy for febrile neutropenia by network meta-analysis.


Searches using Pubmed, Cochrane CENTRAL, EMBASE and Web of Science Core Collection were carried out in June 2016. English articles, non-English articles, full-length articles, short articles and conference abstracts were allowed. Eligible trial design was a parallel-group individual randomization. We included febrile neutropenia adult and paediatric patients undergoing chemotherapy for either solid tumours or haematological malignancies and treated with intravenous antipseudomonal β-lactams for initial empiric therapy. Protocol was registered with PROSPERO ID 42016043377.


Of 1275 articles detected by the search, 50 studies with 10 872 patients were finally included. Among the guideline-recommended cefepime, meropenem, imipenem/cilastatin, piperacillin/tazobactam and ceftazidime; imipenem/cilastatin showed the highest odds of treatment success without modification, which was the primary endpoint, based on the random-effect model network analysis. Ceftazidime was related to lower treatment success rate without modification compared with imipenem/cilastatin with OR of 0.71 (95% CI 0.57–0.89, p 0.006). Imipenem/cilastatin showed the lowest odds of all-cause death. Patients treated with cefepime had higher risk for all-cause death compared with those treated with imipenem/cilastatin (OR 2.05, 95% CI 1.11–3.78, p 0.029). Any adverse event was significantly more prevalent in the imipenem/cilastatin arm; however, there was no difference concerning adverse events leading to discontinuation.


Imipenem/cilastatin, piperacillin/tazobactam and meropenem may be reasonable first-choice medications for empiric therapy of febrile neutropenia.

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