Neutropenic Fever & P. aeruginosa Bloodstream Infection

A 23-year-old female with a history of acute myeloid leukemia and recent haploidentical stem cell transplant, cytokine release syndrome and severe mucositis following receipt of post-transplant cyclophosphamide therapy.

Discussion:

Upon admission, the patient was initially given cefepime for the treatment of febrile neutropenia. Due to the patient’s history of AML and neutropenia, she was at risk for organisms such as P. aeruginosa in addition to other common causes of febrile neutropenia such as Enterobacteriaceae.

At the time of admission, she had blood cultures obtained and T2Bacteria ordered. At this hospital, patient selection for T2Bacteria testing included onco-hematologic and HSCT patients with suspected bloodstream infections.

Bloodstream infections are a major cause of life-threatening complications in patients with cancer, due to the potential delays in chemotherapy, longer hospital stay, suboptimal treatment, higher mortality rate, and increased healthcare costs. The poor performance of blood cultures has a major impact on clinical management of febrile neutropenic patients, especially in cases of unexplained persistent fever. T2Bacteria direct from blood diagnostic technology provided clinically relevant information for the diagnosis of infection in this case of blood culture-negative febrile neutropenia. Cefepime was continued for a total of 7 days, which was 2 days longer than would have been prescribed based on the negative blood cultures after the patient defervesced and ANC increased to >500.

Presentation 

A 23-year-old female with a history of acute myeloid leukemia and recent haploidentical stem cell transplant, cytokine release syndrome and severe mucositis following receipt of post-transplant cyclophosphamide therapy. The patient developed fever and blood cultures, T2Bacteria and empiric antibiotics were ordered.

Patient Selection Criteria

Febrile neutropenia in a patient with AML

Evaluation and Treatment Decision

Diagnosis: Neutropenic fever

Empiric Therapy: Cefepime

Cefepime was chosen for coverage of common causative pathogens identified in febrile neutropenia.

T2Bacteria Result: Positive for P. aeruginosa and negative E. faecium, S. aureus, E. coli and K. pneumoniae.  

Blood Culture Result: No growth

Decision making based on T2Bacteria Result

A rapid T2Bacteria result allowed for early diagnosis of P. aeruginosa bacteremia and confirmation of effective empiric antibiotic therapy. Identification of P. aeruginosa by T2 also provided important diagnostic information that allowed for more informed treatment decisions, including the continuation of IV antibiotics for longer treatment duration.

 

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  • According to the CDC, of the 154 million prescriptions for antibiotics written in doctors' offices and emergency departments each year, 30% are unnecessary.12