The diagnostic utility of routine chest radiography in the evaluation of the initial fever in patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell

Jennifer A. Cox, James Demasi, Susan Mccollom, Gevel Jackson, Douglas Scothorn, Victor M. Aquino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: A routine chest radiograph is often performed to evaluate initial fever in patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) given the signs and symptoms of infectious pulmonary pathology may be subtle or absent. Studies in patients receiving conventional chemotherapy have shown that chest radiographs do not appear to be helpful in the evaluation of asymptomatic patients with febrile neutropenia. We performed a retrospective review of pediatric stem cell transplant recipients to determine if chest radiographs are useful in the evaluation of initial fever. Procedure: We retrospectively identified 81 consecutive pediatric hematopoietic stem transplant recipients who had a chest radiograph performed as a routine part of the evaluation of initial fever during stem cell transplantation. Results: Seventy-six (94%) of the chest radiographs performed had no evidence of pulmonary infiltrate. Of the five children with positive radiographs, three had symptomatic respiratory infection and two (40%) were asymptomatic. One asymptomatic patient had a history of pulmonary infection with persistent stable infiltrates prior to transplantation. This patient did not have any evidence of pneumonia during the transplant. The second asymptomatic patient had subsequent resolution of the infiltrate with antibiotic administration. None of the patients had a change made in the empiric antibiotic regimen based upon the results of the chest film. Conclusions: Routine radiographs are not useful in the evaluation of asymptomatic children at the time of an initial febrile event while undergoing HSCT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)666-668
Number of pages3
JournalPediatric Blood and Cancer
Volume57
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2011

Keywords

  • Fever
  • Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation
  • Pediatric
  • Radiograph

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Hematology
  • Oncology

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