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Evaluation and management of fever in children with non-chemotherapy-induced neutropenia

Nabil M Ahmed, MD, MPH
Debra L Palazzi, MD, MEd
Section Editors
Morven S Edwards, MD
Donald H Mahoney, Jr, MD
Deputy Editor
Mary M Torchia, MD


Fever and neutropenia are common in children with primary hematologic diseases. The risk of developing an infection and the types of pathogens isolated during infection differ depending upon the underlying disorder (table 1). The management of children with fever and chronic neutropenic disorders is reviewed here. The conditions (other than chemotherapy) that cause neutropenia in children, the risk of infection in children with non-chemotherapy-induced neutropenia, and fever in children with chemotherapy-induced neutropenia are discussed separately. (See "Risk of infection in children with fever and non-chemotherapy-induced neutropenia" and "Fever in children with chemotherapy-induced neutropenia".)


Neutropenia — Neutropenia generally is defined as an absolute neutrophil count (ANC) <1500 cells/microL. The ANC is calculated using the following formula:

ANC = total white blood cell count (cells/microL) x (percent neutrophils + percent bands) ÷ 100

The degree of neutropenia is classified as follows:

Mild – ANC 1000 to 1500/microL

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Oct 20, 2017.
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