Neutropenic Enterocolitis in Children with Acute Leukemia or Aplastic Anemia


Neutropenic enterocolitis (NE) and acute appendicitis are life-threatening conditions that develop in children with severe or prolonged neutropenia secondary to acute leukemia and lymphoma. The medical records of 118 patients who were treated for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (69 patients), acute myelogenous leukemia (22 patients), or aplastic anemia (27 patients) between 1997 and 2006 in our hospital pediatric hematology department were examined retrospectively. NE was diagnosed in 11 patients (age range, 2.5–16 years) on the basis of clinical and laboratory features. Two of these 11 patients had appendicitis in addition to NE. Conservative treatment was favored for all patients, but 1 patient with acute appendicitis underwent surgery. Neutropenic patients with a hematologic malignancy and abdominal pain should receive their diagnoses immediately and undergo treatment. NE and acute appendicitis should always be considered in the differential diagnosis of abdominal pain. Conservative treatment must be choseninitially for patients with NE, and these patients should be evaluated carefully for surgery. The criteria for the surgical process are the same as those for immunocompetent children. In addition, the close monitoring of hematologic factors is necessary.

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Correspondence to Bulent Alioglu or Zekai Avci or Figen Ozcay or Serdar Arda or Namik Ozbek.

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Alioglu, B., Avci, Z., Ozcay, F. et al. Neutropenic Enterocolitis in Children with Acute Leukemia or Aplastic Anemia. Int J Hematol 86, 364–368 (2007).

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Key words

  • Neutropenic enterocolitis
  • Acute leukemia
  • Aplastic anemia
  • Neutropenia
  • Appendicitis