BACKGROUND: Patients undergoing chemotherapy are at risk for mucosal injury and neutropenia, which facilitate colonic mucosal invasion by the bowel flora and subsequent neutropenic enterocolitis, which has a poor prognosis. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to assess the clinical features and outcomes of neutropenic enterocolitis in patients at a comprehensive cancer center. DESIGN: This is a retrospective cohort study. SETTING: The study was conducted at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. PATIENTS: Neutropenic enterocolitis was defined by the presence of an absolute neutrophil count <1000/mm3, compatible abdominal symptoms, and either mucosal thickening on abdominal imaging or mucosal injury on colon biopsy. Patients who had been diagnosed between 2010 and 2018 were included. MAIN OUTCOMES: Complication and survival rates were analyzed using logistic regression and Cox regression analyses, respectively. RESULTS: Of the 49,244 patients who had neutropenia during the study period, 134 (2.7%) were included. The median time from neutropenia onset to neutropenic enterocolitis was 2 days (interquartile range, 1-10 days). Neutropenic enterocolitis symptoms lasted for a median of 11 days (interquartile range, 6-22 days). Most patients received antibiotics (88%) and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (68%). Complications included sepsis (11%), colonic perforation (2%), pneumatosis intestinalis (2%), and abscess formation (2%). The risks associated with complications included immunosuppressive therapy use within 1 month before neutropenic enterocolitis onset (OR, 3.92; 95% CI, 1.04-14.76) and delayed imaging (OR, 1.10; 95% CI, 1.03-1.17). Older age, severe neutropenia, prolonged neutropenia before and after neutropenic enterocolitis diagnosis, and other concomitant systemic infections were associated with lower survival rates. LIMITATIONS: The performance of this study at a single center and its retrospective nature are limitations of the study. CONCLUSION: The prompt diagnosis and management of neutropenic enterocolitis are critical to prevent complications. The use of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor can be beneficial to shorten the duration of neutropenia. See Video Abstract at http://links.lww.com/ DCR/B116.
- Neutropenic colitis
- Neutropenic enterocolitis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
MD Anderson CCSG core facilities
- Microbiome Facility