Retrospective analysis of cancer patients admitted to a tertiary centre with suspected neutropenic sepsis: Are C-reactive protein and neutrophil count useful prognostic biomarkers?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Historically, neutropenic sepsis has been associated with high mortality rates. However, there has been limited research into cancer patients admitted with suspected sepsis who are found to be non-neutropenic. C-reactive protein has been shown to be raised in cancer patients for reasons other than infection and there have been limited studies to look as its utility as a prognostic biomarker in suspected sepsis in this population. This study looked at 749 patients admitted to a tertiary cancer centre between January 2015 and February 2016 with suspected sepsis. The neutrophil count and C-reactive protein level was taken in all these patients on admission and at 72 h and compared to the primary outcome of 30-day all-cause mortality rates and hospital length of stay. There were 49 patients who died within 30 days (6.5%). Patients who died were found to have both higher neutrophil counts and C-reactive protein level on admission and at 72 h compared to survivors. Prolonged grade 4 neutropenia was shown to have higher mortality rates. There was only weak correlation between either neutrophil counts or C-reactive protein level and length of hospital stay. This study suggests that higher C-reactive protein level and neutrophil counts and prolonged grade 4 neutropenia are associated with higher mortality rates in cancer patients admitted with suspected sepsis and have utility as prognostic biomarkers in this population.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)132-137
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the Intensive Care Society
Issue number2
Early online date4 Dec 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018