Chemotherapy-induced febrile neutropenia (FN) is one of the more common oncological emergencies. Despite evidence in the oncology literature suggesting that low-risk cases of FN can be managed safely at home, most patients with FN who present to the emergency department (ED) are admitted. FN risk stratification methods, such as Multinational Association for Supportive Care in Cancer (MASCC) and Clinical Index of Stable Febrile Neutropenia (CISNE) scores, may be useful when considering patient disposition. We sought to address whether the existing body of literature is adequate to support the use of these methods when treating patients with FN in the ED.


      A PubMed search from January 1, 2016 to March 19, 2021 was performed using the following search strategy: “febrile neutropenia” OR (fever AND neutropenia)) AND (emerg* OR outpatient) AND (admit OR admission OR hospitalization). General review articles and case reports were omitted. Each of the articles selected underwent a structured review.


      The search yielded 371 articles, which were independently screened for relevance by two authors, and 23 articles were selected for inclusion. MASCC score was used in 10 of the identified studies and each of these studies concluded that the score was useful in the ED. Most of the identified studies found that CISNE score had a higher sensitivity than MASCC score (96.7% vs. 32.9%, respectively), but a lower specificity (22.2% vs. 89.5%).


      FN risk stratifications tools, such as MASCC and CISNE scores, are supported by the existing literature and may be included as part of the decision-making process when considering patient disposition.


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