Chemotherapy-induced febrile neutropenia patients are heterogeneous in their risk of adverse outcomes. Management strategies are tailored according to level of risk. Many emerging predictors for risk stratification remain controversial being based on single studies only. A systematic review was conducted to determine the strength of association of all identified predictors. Studies were obtained from electronic databases, grey literatures and reference lists.
Methodological quality of studies was assessed for internal validity and representativeness. Seven studies (four prospective and three retrospective cohorts) investigating 22 factors were reported. Fixed effects meta-analysis showed: hypotension and thrombocytopenia were significant predictors for high-risk. Additional predictors that might enhance performance of current models include: tachypnoea, presence of central venous catheter, duration and severity of neutropenia. Further research to investigate new factors/markers is needed to develop a robust prognostic model, which is the key to enhance patient safety.