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Piperacillin/tazobactam versus cefepime as initial empirical antimicrobial therapy in febrile neutropenic patients: a prospective randomized pilot study.

Author(s): Bohme A, Shah PM, Stille W, Hoelzer D

Affiliation(s): Department of Hematology/Oncology, Johann Wolfgang Goethe- University Frankfurt/Germany. A.Boehme@em.uni-frankfurt.de

Publication date & source: 1998-07-20, Eur J Med Res., 3(7):324-30.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Randomized Controlled Trial

The objective of the presented prospective, randomized study was to compare the efficacy of empirical antimicrobial monotherapy with piperacillin/tazobactam (PIP/TAZ) to cefepime (CEFP) for treatment of infections in neutropenic patients. From a total of 102 febrile episodes 100 were evaluable. The most frequent microorganisms were gram-negative, documented in 22% vs. 24% of the febrile episodes (gram-positives 18% vs. 16%, fungi 2% vs. 4%). The response rate was similar with 22/51 (43%) of episodes treated with PIP/TAZ vs. 19/49 (39%) with CEFP. Of the different infection types classified at the end of the febrile episodes, patients with fever of unknown origin (FUO) and primary bacteremias showed the best initial responses with 25/44 (57%) and 11/22 (50%). Lower initial response rates were found in pneumonias with totally 3/13 (23%) and other clinically documented infections with 2/21 (10%), without any difference between both groups. Gram positive infections showed a higher response with PIP/TAZ than with CEFP (4/9 vs. 0/8), gram negative responded less frequently (3/11 vs. 7/13). The median time until persistent defervescence was equal in both groups (2.5 vs. 2 days), likewise the response rates after the different steps of therapy modifications (change to imipenem or ceftazidim, or addition of gentamycin, vancomycin or amphotericin B). Totally, 96% of febrile episodes responded in both therapy arms. Overall, we found no significant differences in efficacy between the two therapeutic regimens. In conclusion, PIP/TAZ as well as CEFP might be a sufficient initial therapy for febrile neutropenia, but further randomized trials with larger patient numbers are necessary.

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