Severity of Enterocolitis PREDICTED by IL-8

Severity of enterocolitis is predicted by IL-8 in paediatric oncology patients

M.D. van de Wetering a, H.N. Caron a, M. Biezeveld a, J.A.J.M. Taminiau a, F.J. ten Kate b, L. Spanjaard c and T.W. Kuijpers a


Enterocolitis in oncology patients remains an important complication, but there is a lack of insight into its likely severity from microbial, pathological and inflammatory aspects.

Paediatric oncology patients admitted with neutropenic fever, who developed abdominal pain and diarrhoea, were monitored by the takers of rectal biopsies, cultures, and inflammatory marker measurements.

Twenty-five patients were included (mean age 7.1 years). 8 patients (32%) needed intensive care treatment, 3 (12%) patients died. Gram-positive bacteraemia was diagnosed in 4 patients (16%).

Most patients had negative blood and stool cultures. Predictors of a severe clinical course of the enterocolitis were an increased serum interleukin-8 (IL-8) (>1000 pg/ml) level and an increased serum C-reactive protein level (CRP) (>150 mg/l) level, both measured on the first day of clinical illness.

Relative risks (RR) for admission to an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) were 11.3 (95% Confidence Interval (CI) 1.677.9) for elevated IL-8 levels and 6.4 (95% (CI) 0.9245.1) for increased CRP levels. Rectal biopsies and pathology could not predict outcome (P=0.22).

IL-8 analysis at the onset of enterocolitis symptoms can identify high-risk patients, which might be used clinically to design future intervention trials.

European Journal of Cancer, Volume 40, Issue 4, Pages 571-578 (March 2004)

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