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June 1989

Haemophilus Species Bacteremia in Patients With Cancer: A 13-Year Experience

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medical Specialties, Section of Infectious Diseases, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston. Dr Fainstein is now with the Infectious Diseases Associates, Houston, Tex.

Arch Intern Med. 1989;149(6):1341-1345. doi:10.1001/archinte.1989.00390060073015

• We reviewed the clinical and laboratory presentation of Haemophilus species bacteremia at our institution, with special attention to predisposing and prognostic factors. Of 36 cases, 18 presented with pneumonia, 1 with cellulitis, and another with sinusitis. No cases of meningitis or endocarditis were detected. Most episodes were caused by Haemophilus influenzae, and the overall response rate to treatment was 72%. Factors including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, alcoholism, prior splenectomy, and neutropenia did not play an important role in these patients' infections. Most of the isolates serotyped were found to be nontypable. The occurrence of ampicillin resistance was 6% throughout the study. Ampicillin, chloramphenicol, and second-generation cephalosporins were all effective therapeutic regimens. Bacteremia due to Haemophilus species remains an uncommon infection in patients with cancer, despite the predominance of traditional predisposing factors.

(Arch Intern Med. 1989;149:1341-1345)

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