Meropenem Versus Piperacillin-Tazobactam as Empiric Therapy for Febrile Neutropenia in Pediatric Oncology Patients

  • Sezgin, Gulay (Division of Pediatric Oncology and BMT Unit, Cukurova University Medical School) ;
  • Acipayam, Can (Division of Pediatric Oncology and BMT Unit, Cukurova University Medical School) ;
  • Ozkan, Ayse (Division of Pediatric Oncology and BMT Unit, Cukurova University Medical School) ;
  • Bayram, Ibrahim (Division of Pediatric Oncology and BMT Unit, Cukurova University Medical School) ;
  • Tanyeli, Atila (Division of Pediatric Oncology and BMT Unit, Cukurova University Medical School)
  • Published : 2014.06.15


Background: Infection is a serious cause of mortality in febrile neutropenia of pediatric cancer patients. Recently, monotherapy has replaced the combination therapy in empirical treatment of febrile neutropenia. Since there has been no reported trial comparing the efficacy of meropenem and piperacillin-tazobactam (PIP/TAZ) monotherapies, the present retrospective study was conducted to compare safety and efficacy in febrile neutropenic children with cancer. Materials and Methods: Charts of febrile, neutropenic children hospitalized at our center between March 2008 and April 2011 for hemato-oncological malignancies were reviewed. Patients received PIP/TAZ 360 mg/kg/day or meropenem 60 mg/kg/day intravenously in three divided doses. Duration of fever and neutropenia, absolute neutrophil count, modification, and success rate were compared between the two groups. Resolution of fever without antibiotic change was defined as success and resolution of fever with antibiotic change or death of a patient was defined as failure. Modification was defined as changing the empirical antimicrobial agent during a febrile episode. Results: Two hundred eighty four febrile neutropenic episodes were documented in 136 patients with a median age of 5 years. In 198 episodes meropenem and in 86 episodes PIP/TAZ were used. Duration of fever and neutropenia, neutrophil count, sex, and primary disease were not different between two groups. Success rates and modification rate between two groups showed no significant differences (p>0.05). Overall success rate in the meropenem and PIP/TAZ groups were 92.4% and 91.9% respectively. No serious adverse effects occurred in either of the groups. Conclusions: Meropenem and PIP/TAZ monotherapy are equally safe and effective in the initial treatment of febrile neutropenia in children with cancer.


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