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1/11. Neutropenic enterocolitis: is it possible to break vicious circle between neutropenia and the bowel wall inflammation by surgery?

    BACKGROUND: Neutropenic enterocolitis is a devastating bowel wall inflammation in patients with protracted neutropenia. The approach for diagnosis and treatment is still controversial, and it is difficult and challenging to decide on what should be the next step in the management. CASE PRESENTATION: We report a 10-year-old boy who developed neutropenic enterocolitis in the course of the conservative treatment for aplastic anemia. Oral mucositis and the perianal fissure with an ulcer were important indicators for what was happening on the colonic mucosa. colonoscopy and biopsy confirmed the diagnosis. A fast recovery was achieved with a right hemicolectomy and ileostomy. CONCLUSION: Retrospective analysis of the long-term follow-up of our patient suggests that defunctioning the colon by ileostomy breaks the vicious circle between neutropenia and bowel wall inflammation, and an early surgical intervention could be considered as an adjunctive approach to the conservative management of persistent cases. ( info)

2/11. Pseudomembranous and neutropenic enterocolitis in pediatric oncology patients.

    Neutropenic enterocolitis in oncological patients represents a wide spectrum of clinicopathological pictures each with its own entity. early diagnosis of enterocolitis can lead to improved supportive care and therefore better outcome. We present two cases--patient A, a child with pseudomembranous colitis caused by clostridium difficile, and patient B, a child with neutropenic enterocolitis, where no organism was found. By allowing an insight into the pathology, immunology and culture results, we demonstrated that early diagnosis leads to improved management and therefore improved outcome. ( info)

3/11. Neutropenic enterocolitis: a serious complication during the treatment of acute leukemias.

    Neutropenic enterocolitis (NE) is a severe gastrointestinal complication in patients who undergo aggressive chemotherapy. It is a necrotizing inflammation of the cecum, colon, and the terminal part of the ileum. The serious clinical state of NE patients requires very frequent surgical consultations; however, in a few particular cases of NE, e.g., perforation of the bowels, a surgical intervention is necessary. Here, we report on six cases of NE in patients with acute leukemias. The patients were all women aged 21-55 years. Two of them had acute myeloid leukemia and four had lymphoblastic leukemia. NE occurred 7-10 days after the completion of chemotherapy, during the neutropenic phase. They represented a typical picture of NE: two of them died because of septic shock; five patients had subileus with irritation of the peritoneum; and one had hepatosplenic abscesses confirmed 6 months later by post-mortem examination. In each case, a surgical opinion was required. None of these patients were operated on. We present a report summarizing our experience and problems with six patients who had a clinical picture of NE and offer a short review of the current literature on the subject. ( info)

4/11. Neutropenic enterocolitis in acute leukemia: diagnostic and therapeutic dilemma.

    The main purpose of this report is to focus on the importance of an accurate etiologic diagnosis of gastrointestinal complications during chemotherapy for acute myeloid leukemia, taking into account that a syndrome characterized by bowel wall thickening associated with diarrhea and abdominal pain may have etiologies different from neutropenic enterocolitis (NE) and in such a case necessitate a different treatment approach. We describe a case of a 46-year-old woman affected by acute myeloid leukemia presenting the onset of a syndrome with clinical features of NE. Supportive therapy for NE was instituted, but during treatment the patient presented a life-threatening gastrointestinal bleeding and was submitted in emergency to hemicolectomy. Following surgery, the patient recovered completely and she is currently alive in complete remission after receiving allogeneic bone marrow transplantation. Histological examination of the surgical specimens showed that the acute abdominal syndrome was related to massive infiltration of the bowel by leukemia cells. A correct baseline evaluation and a prompt diagnosis of the complication may help in making the therapeutic decision, which in our case led necessarily to a surgical procedure, because the bleeding was due to post-chemotherapy necrosis of the leukemic infiltrating tissue. A close collaboration between the hematologist and the surgeon may provide guidelines for behavior in such cases, giving these patients the possibility of survival and the opportunity to carry on the treatment planned for the primary disease. ( info)

5/11. Neutropenic enterocolitis (typhilitis) associated with docetaxel therapy in a patient with non-small-cell lung cancer: case report and review of literature.

    Neutropenic enterocolitis (NE) is an unusual acute complication of neutropenia, most often associated with leukemia and lymphoma which is characterized by segmental cecal and ascending colon ulceration that may progress to necrosis, perforation, and septicemia. We present a case of neutropenic enterocolitis in a patient with non-small-cell lung cancer who received docetaxel and flavopiridol as part of a phase I clinical trial and review cases in the literature where docetaxel was involved. Given the increased use of docetaxel and other taxanes in the treatment of advanced lung cancer, physicians should be aware of this potential toxicity of therapy. ( info)

6/11. Neutropenic enterocolitis as a presenting complication of acute lymphoblastic leukemia: an unusual case marked by delayed perforation of the descending colon.

    Neutropenic enterocolitis (NE) is a life-threatening complication most commonly seen in patients receiving intensive chemotherapy for acute leukemia. The condition usually affects the terminal ileum, cecum, or ascending colon. In rare instances, NE may occur before the initiation of chemotherapy or involve more distal bowel. The authors report the case of a 2-year-old girl who had NE affecting the descending colon as a presenting complication of acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Despite aggressive medical interventions, including granulocyte infusions, she had a delayed bowel perforation that was managed successfully with surgery. This case highlights the challenges of treating patients who have NE as an initial manifestation of acute leukemia. ( info)

7/11. Neutropenic enterocolitis in adults: case series and review of the literature.

    Necrotizing enterocolitis in adults is a rare disease and, in the past, has been associated with nearly uniform mortality. In recent years, necrotizing enterocolitis, now termed neutropenic enterocolitis, in adults has become more prevalent as a complication of aggressive systemic chemotherapy. In this report, we discuss two cases of neutropenic enterocolitis secondary to the administration of systemic chemotherapy in adult cancer patients: one with lung carcinoma, the other with leukemia. Both patients were successfully treated with early surgical intervention for resection of all necrotizing enteric lesions, and subsequent aggressive critical care support. Our experience suggests that early surgical intervention in adult patients with intestinal necrosis due to chemotherapy is essential to avoid mortality from this condition. Given the widespread, aggressive use of systemic chemotherapy in the neoadjuvant setting, patients at risk for this potentially lethal complication of neutropenic enterocolitis are increasingly common. ( info)

8/11. Neutropenic enterocolitis in acute myeloid leukemia.

    In this report we focus on the importance of an accurate diagnosis of gastrointestinal complications during chemotherapy for acute myeloid leukemia. The leukemic infiltrtion of the digestive system may cause mucosal ulcers which can lead to bleeding or perforation. The immune system deficiency in this cohort of patients may result in necrotic enterocolitis (leukemic typhlitis), perianal inflammation, abscesses, and peritonitis. We describe a 37-year old male who presented in June 2004 with 2-month history of fever, weakness and sore throat, treated with antibiotic therapy. physical examination demonstrated palor. The peripheral blood count at admittance was as follow: Hemoglobin 87 g/l, WBC 63 x 10(9)/l, and platelets 56 x 10(9)/l. The peripheral blood differential count showed: myeloblasts 4%, polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN) 20%, monocytes 60%, lymphocytes 16%. The diagnosis of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) was confirmed by bone marrow aspirate, which presented an almost total infiltration by monocytoid blasts, AML type M5 according to FAB classification. Immunophenotypic evaluation by flow cytometry showed that the blast cells reacted with antibodies to CD33, CD13, CD14, CD64, CD15, cytogenetics showed normal karyotype. Induction treatment consisting of cytarabine 2 x 200 mg intravenously in push on days 1-8, vepeside 200 mg i.v. on days 1-5, adriblastine 90 mgon days 1,3 and 5. On day 15 of chemotherapy the patient got fever 38.5 degrees C, abdominal pain and diarrhea (10 stools daily). Broad-spectrum antibiotic therapy with ceftriaxone and amikacin was promptly instituted but condition worsened, abdominal pain extended to all abdomen while the fever and diarrhea persisted. ultrasonography on day 18 documented bowel wall thickness of colic tract, part of duodenum and jejunum. Owing to suspicion of neutropenic enterocolitis, antibiotic therapy intensified with teicoplanin, fluconazole, metronidazole and pipril. Patient was neutropenic and thrombocytopenic, although daily platelet transfusion from a single donor were given. We started with granulocyte colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) 5 g/kg, which was adiminstered for 7 days. After 7 days neutrophil value reached 1 x 10(9)/l, but fever persisted, abdominal distension and diarrhea progressively improved. The fever peristed and central venous catheter was removed on day 30. After removal of the catheter the patient was getting better: the fever disappeared. The blood count showed Hb 91 g/l, WBC 3,4 x 10(9)/l, platelet 114 x 10(9)/l and normal leukocyte differential count. We emphesize the importance of collaboration between the hematologist and the surgeon in monitoring gastrointestinal complications during and after chemotherapy for acute leukemias and value of abdominal ultrasonography evaluation. ( info)

9/11. Neutropenic enteropathy.

    Neutropenic enteropathy (NE) is used to describe the inflammation of the bowel in neutropenic patients under aggressive chemotherapy, mainly for lymphoproliferative and hematologic malignancies. Surgical intervention may be required in patients with the advent of the disease. We report our experience in 7 children with NE who had to be treated surgically. Absolute neutrophil counts were less than 1000/mm3 in all, with positive blood cultures in five patients. Four patients recovered with rapid resolution of neutropenia, while three patients died with persistent neutropenia. ( info)

10/11. Oncological emergencies in the pediatric intensive care unit.

    The overall 5-year survival rate of children with cancer has now reached 77%, an increase of about 45% in the past 25 years. Newer therapies, including hematopoietic cell transplantation and cutting edge chemotherapeutics evolving in the form of molecular and biological cell targeted agents, are being researched and developed and are responsible for the change in survival rates over time. Also, despite the national trend toward hospice and palliative care, children with chronic and life threatening illnesses, continue to die in the hospital setting, often in the intensive care unit. Previous studies of children with complications of cancer and its therapy document poor outcomes among those who do require intensive care. These trends are changing, however, currently leaving a hopeful, optimistic view of the outcome in children with cancer complications admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit. It is imperative that nurses and intensive care staff understand pediatric cancer and its potential emergent consequences in order to respond to the symptoms of life threatening events. ( info)
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