Intensive Care Medicine

, Volume 32, Issue 1, pp 93–99 | Cite as

Outcome in severely ill patients with hematological malignancies who received intravenous chemotherapy in the intensive care unit

  • Dominique D. BenoitEmail author
  • Pieter O. Depuydt
  • Koenraad H. Vandewoude
  • Fritz C. Offner
  • Tom Boterberg
  • Carole A. De Cock
  • Lucien A. Noens
  • Ann M. Janssens
  • Johan M. Decruyenaere



To assess the outcome in severely ill patients with hematological malignancies who receive intravenous chemotherapy in an intensive care unit (ICU) for a life-threatening malignancy-related complication.


Retrospective observational study of prospectively collected data.


All 37 critically ill patients with hematological malignancies who received intravenous chemotherapy in the ICU between January 1997 and March 2005 (mean age 46±19 years; mean APACHE II 23±7).

Measurements and results

Thirty-seven (69%) patients received chemotherapy because of extensive disease with organ involvement (54%), extensive disease without organ involvement (19%), severe disseminated intravascular coagulation (11%), and other reasons (16%). In 41% there was concomitant infection when chemotherapy was initiated, in 86% a high-grade malignancy, and 30% relapsing disease. Twenty-three (62%) patients received mechanical ventilation at the moment of or soon after initiation of chemotherapy for a median duration of 5 days (1–67), and 24% underwent renal replacement therapy during ICU stay. Only ventilation was associated with in-hospital mortality (odds ratio 9.3). ICU, in-hospital, and 6-month mortality rates in nonventilated vs. ventilated patients were 7% and 48%, 14% and 61%, and 54% and 74%, respectively.


Starting chemotherapy in the ICU for a life-threatening malignancy related complication can be lifesaving even when infection or organ failure is present


Hematological Intensive care unit Intravenous chemotherapy Malignancy 

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dominique D. Benoit
    • 1
    Email author
  • Pieter O. Depuydt
    • 1
  • Koenraad H. Vandewoude
    • 1
  • Fritz C. Offner
    • 2
  • Tom Boterberg
    • 3
  • Carole A. De Cock
    • 1
  • Lucien A. Noens
    • 2
  • Ann M. Janssens
    • 2
  • Johan M. Decruyenaere
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Intensive Care MedicineGhent University HospitalGhentBelgium
  2. 2.Department of HematologyGhent University HospitalGhentBelgium
  3. 3.Department of RadiotherapyGhent University HospitalGhentBelgium

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