TY Halim, KW Song, MJ Barnett, DL Forrest, DE Hogge, SH Nantel, TJ Nevill, JD Shepherd, CA Smith, HJ Sutherland, CL Toze, JC Lavoie
BACKGROUND: Curative intent chemotherapy for acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) leads to prolonged severe neutropenia, during which patients are highly susceptible to infection. Traditionally these high-risk patients were treated as inpatients. Our center recently implemented a selective ambulatory management policy for AML patients undergoing chemotherapy. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A retrospective analysis was conducted to assess the occurrence of septicemia in AML patients treated over a 5 years period with curative intent chemotherapy. This review encompasses a change in policy from primarily inpatient care to selective outpatient management coupled with prophylactic antibiotic therapy. RESULTS: A total of 294 patients, receiving 623 cycles of chemotherapy were identified. A significant decrease in septicemia was observed from the inpatient to outpatient cohort (22% to 13% P < 0.05), which correlated with the shift towards outpatient treatment of consolidation cycles. A shift from Gram-negative to Gram-positive organisms as the cause of septicemia was also detected in the outpatient cohort, likely due to the introduction of ciprofloxacin prophylaxis. No significant emerging resistance and no septicemia-related mortality were noted in the outpatient cohort. CONCLUSION: The observed decrease in the incidence of septicemia in the ambulatory cohort adds supportive evidence to the feasibility of selective outpatient management of AML patients with respect to infectious complications.