Neutropenic Enterocolitis

John M Draus, MD, Kenneth W Gow, MD
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Neutropenic enterocolitis (NE) is characterized by fever and abdominal pain in a neutropenic patient. NE was originally described in children with acute leukemia who had undergone induction chemotherapy. Various names have been given to this disease including typhlitis, neutropenic colitis, necrotizing enterocolitis, ileocecal syndrome and cecitis.

NE is recognized as a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in immunocompromised patients. A high index of suspicion and early diagnosis are paramount. Initial therapy is focused on medical management to halt the disease process. Surgery is reserved for severe complications. Much work is needed to better understand the pathophysiology, prevention and optimal treatment of NE.

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Last updated: March 19, 2018