What is the role of antibiotics in the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)?

Updated: Jun 20, 2019
  • Author: Karen Seiter, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Answer

Antibiotics are given to all febrile patients. At a minimum, include a third-generation cephalosporin (or equivalent). In addition to this minimum, other antibiotic agents are added to treat specific documented or possible infections.

Patients with persistent fever after 3-5 days of antibacterial antibiotics should have an antifungal antibiotic (liposomal or lipid complex amphotericin, new generation azole or echinocandin) added to their regimen. Patients with sinopulmonary complaints would receive anti-Aspergillus treatment. Particular care is warranted for patients receiving steroids as part of their treatment, because the signs and symptoms of infection may be subtle or even absent.


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