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Rigshospitalet - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Safe and feasible outpatient treatment following induction and consolidation chemotherapy for patients with acute leukaemia

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Traditionally, patients with acute leukaemia are admitted to hospital during chemotherapy-induced pancytopenia, although a few recent reports have reported the feasibility and safety of outpatient treatment. We have developed an outpatient treatment programme for patients with acute leukaemia incorporating comprehensive patient education for self-care management at home during pancytopenia and involvement of patients in care of their tunnelled central venous catheter (CVC). During neutropenia, patients are treated with prophylactic ciprofloxacine, amoxicillin/clavulanic acid and fluconazole. Herein, we report the results of outpatient treatment of 60 patients with acute leukaemia (54 with acute myeloid leukaemia) followed prospectively in the period from March 2004 to 2007. After induction chemotherapy, outpatient treatment was possible after 48 of 73 induction courses, with no readmission in 19 of these (40%). A total of 129 consolidation courses were administered with outpatient treatment following 116 of these, with no readmission in 69 (59%). The median number of days spent at home with neutrophils below 0.5 x 10(9)/L was 8 d per course following induction and 12 d following consolidation chemotherapy. The predominant cause of readmission was neutropenic fever, in most instances of unknown origin. Coagulase-negative staphylococci and Enterococcus faecium were the most frequently identified bacteria in blood cultures, whereas only four positive blood cultures with multiresistant Escherichia coli were identified in the entire patient cohort, the latter exclusively observed in patients receiving antibiotic prophylaxis. The majority of the patients were able to take care of their CVC including change in dressing and heparin flushing. There were 12 CVC-related infections. There were no treatment-related deaths. We conclude that outpatient treatment of patients with acute leukaemia is feasible and safe.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Haematology
Volume84
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)316-22
Number of pages7
ISSN0902-4441
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2010

ID: 31057312