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Neutropenic enterocolitis (typhlitis)

Louis-Michel Wong Kee Song, MD, FRCP(C)
Norman E Marcon, MD, FRCP(C)
Section Editor
Kieren A Marr, MD
Deputy Editor
Anna R Thorner, MD


Neutropenic enterocolitis is a life-threatening, necrotizing enterocolitis occurring primarily in neutropenic patients [1]. Other terms that have been used to describe this syndrome include "necrotizing enterocolitis" and "ileocecal syndrome." Neutropenic enterocolitis occurs most commonly in individuals with hematologic malignancies who are neutropenic and have breakdown of gut mucosal integrity as a result of cytotoxic chemotherapy. "Typhlitis" (from the Greek word "typhlon," or cecum) describes neutropenic enterocolitis of the ileocecal region; we prefer the more inclusive term "neutropenic enterocolitis," since other parts of the small and/or large intestine are often involved.

The pathogenesis, clinical manifestations, diagnosis, management, and prognosis of neutropenic enterocolitis are reviewed here.

Other infectious complications of chemotherapy-induced neutropenia are discussed separately:

(See "Overview of neutropenic fever syndromes".)

(See "Diagnostic approach to the adult cancer patient with neutropenic fever".)

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Jan 04, 2017.
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