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Delayed administration of filgrastim (G-CSF) following autologous peripheral blood stem cell transplantation (APBSCT) in pediatric patients does not change time to neutrophil engraftment and reduces use of G-CSF


  • Conflict of interest: Nothing to declare.



Delayed initiation of granulocyte colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) after high-dose chemotherapy and autologous bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cell (APBSCT) in adult patients does not affect time to neutrophil or platelet engraftment, duration of fever, incidence of bacteremia, duration of non-prophylactic antibiotic therapy, and length of hospitalization when compared to early initiation. This study compares the effect of delayed (day +6) versus early (day +1) administration of G-CSF in pediatric patients on time to neutrophil engraftment (TNE), duration and cost of G-CSF therapy, incidence of blood stream infections, duration of febrile–neutropenia, duration of non-prophylactic antibiotic therapy, and duration of hospitalization due to febrile–neutropenia.


This is a retrospective review of 65 patients who engrafted after receiving APBSCT and G-CSF between 1993 and 2006. They were divided into the delayed group (day +6) (n = 46) and the early group (day +1) (n = 19).


The median ages were 4.7 and 5.3 years in the early and delayed groups, respectively. There was no significant difference in TNE (P = 0.06) between the two groups. The duration of G-CSF administration was significantly less in the delayed group (P = 0.003). No significant differences were observed in the duration of neutropenia, time to platelet engraftment, the incidence of blood stream infections, and duration of fevers. Duration of hospitalization due to febrile–neutropenia was significantly lower in the delayed group (P = 0.01). Significant cost savings were observed by delaying G-CSF administration.


Delayed administration of G-CSF after APBSCT in children has no adverse effect on TNE or other clinical outcomes when compared to early administration and may incur substantial cost savings. Pediatr Blood Cancer 2010;54:728–733. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.