Clinical Question: Does the Multinational Association for Supportive Care in Cancer (MASCC) or Clinical Index of Stable Febrile Neutropenia (CISNE) risk-stratification score better predict patient outcomes in patients presenting to emergency departments with febrile neutropenia?
Background: Risk-stratification metrics like the MASCC and CISNE identify subsets of relatively low-risk patients with febrile neutropenia after chemotherapy for treatment at home with empiric oral antibiotic therapy and close follow-up while awaiting results of infectious work-up. Prior studies have validated these tools for admitted, but not for ED, patients.
Setting: Two academic ED at National Institutes of Health–designated cancer centers.
Synopsis: Included patients (n = 230) were at least 16 years old with a documented fever of 38° C or greater related to chemotherapy and an absolute neutrophil count less than 1,000 cells/μL. MASCC and CISNE risk stratification scores were calculated based on the documentation from the ED and recent oncology clinic visits. Outcome measures included length of stay, upgrade in level of care, positive blood cultures, clinical deterioration, and death and were assessed for up to 30 days following discharge. Low-risk patients were defined as those who experienced no negative endpoints. The CISNE score was more specific than the MASCC in identifying low-risk patients (98.1% vs. 54.2%), suggesting that the CISNE may be useful for hospitalists in identifying patients who may be safely discharged with oral antibiotics and close follow-up.
Limitations include possible misclassification bias from indirect assessment of symptom severity, lack of recent ECOG scores for six patients in the CISNE arm, and possible undocumented symptoms during ED evaluation required for subsequent score calculation. Additionally, most patients in this study reported mild symptoms which weighted their MASCC classification toward low-risk.
Bottom Line: The CISNE score may aid in risk-stratification of patients with chemotherapy-related febrile neutropenia presenting to the ED.
Reference: Coyne CJ, Le V, Brennan JJ, et al. Application of the MASCC and CISNE risk-stratification scores to identify low-risk febrile neutropenic patients in the emergency department. Ann Emerg Med. Published online 29 Dec 2016. doi: 10.1016/j.annemergmed.2016.11.007.
Dr. Frederick is assistant clinical professor in the division of hospital Medicine, department of medicine, University of California, San Diego.