Original Article

The Evaluation of Nasal Cultures in Patients with Hematological Malignancies During Febrile Neutropenic Episodes


  • Mehmet Uluğ
  • Celal Ayaz
  • Mustafa Kemal Çelen

Received Date: 03.05.2012 Accepted Date: 25.07.2012 Med Bull Haseki 2012;50(4):136-141


Febrile neutropenia is a common complication in patients receiving cancer treatment. According to the results of several investigations, bacterial infections are the most common causes of morbidity and mortality in these patients. In this study, we aimed to determine the prevalence of nasal carriage of S. aureus in patients with febrile neutropenia, to assess the frequency of methicillin resistant S. aureus, and to compare the blood and nasal cultures in these patients.


Nasal and blood cultures were performed in 51 patients with hematological malignancies during febrile neutropenic episodes. Antimicrobial susceptibilities of all S. aureus and Gram-negative strains were evaluated by disc diffusion method according to the National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards (NCCLS) for oxacillin and several other antibiotics.


In this study, blood and nasal cultures obtained between March 2006 and September 2006 were evaluated retrospectively. The overall nasal S. aureus carriage rate was 23.5%. On the other hand, of all blood cultures performed in 51 patients, nine (17.5%) were positive and the bacteria were not isolated in 87.5% of patients. The overall compliance rate of strains isolated from both blood and nasal cultures was 17.5%, while it was 11.7% when considering the status of strains resistant to antibiotics studied.


It is concluded that, the surveillance cultures made occasionally in patients with febrile neutropenia may give an idea to the physicians in cases in which the causative pathogen cannot be determined.

Keywords: Febrile neutropenia, nasal carriage, Staphylococcus aureus, surveillance culture

Full Text (Turkish)