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Neutropenic enterocolitis in acute myeloid leukemia

Author(s): Čolović Nataša | Rajić Zoran | Sretenović Mirjana | Stojković Mirjana | Čolović Milica R.

Journal: Acta Chirurgica Iugoslavica
ISSN 0354-950X

Volume: 51;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 127;
Date: 2004;
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Keywords: gastrointestinal | complications | chemotherapy

In this report we focus on the importance of an accurate diagnosis of gastrointestinal complications during chemotherapy for acute myeloid leukemia. The leukemic infiltrtion of the digestive system may cause mucosal ulcers which can lead to bleeding or perforation. The immune system deficiency in this cohort of patients may result in necrotic enterocolitis (leukemic typhlitis), perianal inflammation, abscesses, and peritonitis. We describe a 37-year old male who presented in June 2004 with 2- month history of fever, weakness and sore throat, treated with antibiotic therapy. Physical examination demonstrated palor. The peripheral blood count at admittance was as follow: Hemoglobin 87 g/l, WBC 63 x109/l, and platelets 56 x109/l. The peripheral blood differential count showed: myeloblasts 4%, polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN) 20%, monocytes 60%, lymphocytes 16%. The diagnosis of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) was confirmed by bone marrow aspirate, which presented an almost total infiltration by monocytoid blasts, AML type M5 according to FAB classification. Immunophenotypic evaluation by flow cytometry showed that the blast cells reacted with antibodies to CD33, CD13, CD14, CD64, CD15, cytogenetics showed normal karyotype. Induction treatment consisting of cytarabine 2 x 200 mg intravenously in push on days 1-8, vepeside 200 mg i.v. on days 1-5, adriblastine 90 mgon days 1,3 and 5. On day 15 of chemotherapy the patient got fever 38.5oC, abdominal pain and diarrhea (10 stools daily). Broad-spectrum antibiotic therapy with ceftriaxone and amikacin was promptly instituted but condition worsened, abdominal pain extended to all abdomen while the fever and diarrhea persisted. Ultrasonography on day 18 documented bowel wall thickness of colic tract, part of duodenum and jejunum. Owing to suspicion of neutropenic enterocolitis, antibiotic therapy intensified with teicoplanin, fluconazole, metronidazole and pipril. Patient was neutropenic and thrombocytopenic, although daily platelet transfusion from a single donor were given. We started with granulocyte colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) 5 g/kg, which was adiminstered for 7 days. After 7 days neutrophil value reached 1x x109/l, but fever persisted, abdominal distension and diarrhea progressively improved. The fever peristed and central venous catheter was removed on day 30. After removal of the catheter the patient was getting better: the fever disappeared. The blood count showed Hb 91 g/l, WBC 3,4 x109/l, platelet 114 x109/l and normal leukocyte differential count. We emphesize the importance of collaboration between the hematologist and the surgeon in monitoring gastrointestinal complications during and after chemotherapy for acute leukemias and value of abdominal ultrasonography evaluation.
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