>ED Rounds – Oncologic Emergencies and Emerging Treatments

ED Rounds – May 2018

Dr. Paul Frankish

 

Take Home Points

  1. In patients on Immunotherapy for cancer beware of diarrhea or dyspnea, as it may represent an autoimmune side effect.

  2. LMWH is the treatment of choice for the duration of Malignancy associated PE.

  3. SVC obstruction is “sneaky” and new dyspnea is far more common than facial swelling.

 

Immunotherapy

 

 

 

 


Febrile Neutropenia

A single oral temperature >38.3 deg C

or

A sustained oral temperature >38 deg C

with

An absolute neutrophil count (ANC) less than 500 cells per microliter (0.5 x 109/L)

 

*Far and away one of the most common oncologic presentations to the ED

*70% hematologic and 30% solid organ malignancies

*Treatment Timelines (as per IDSA):

1.STAT CBC within 10 minutes

2.Broad empiric antibiotics within 60 minutes

 

History

1.Diagnosis

2.Date and type of last Chemo

3.Use of G-CSF

4.Use of antimicrobials

5.History of prior infection

6.PMH/surgical history

7.Medications/Allergies

 

Exam

1.Mental Status

2.Volume Status

3.Oral Mucosa

4.Skin/Catheter Sites

5.Respiratory

6.Cardiovascular

7.Abdomen

 

Treatment

*Imipenem 500 mg IV Q6H or

*Pip/Tazo 3.375 gram IV Q6H or

*Cipro 400 mg IV and Vanco 1 gram IV Q12H if penicillin allergic

*Consider adding Vanco to monotherapy if:

1.IV Catheter Infection

2.Gram positive organism not yet identified

3.MRSA Colonization

4.Hypotension/Shock

 


SVC Obstruction

*Subacute SVCO results in milder symptoms like facial swelling, cough, dyspnea, facial redness, dilated superficial veins.

*Acute SVCO is more severe and can result in altered LOC, increased ICP, airway obstruction.

*Test of choice is a contrast enhanced CT chest

 

 

Treatment

1.Elevate HOB

2.Dexamethasone 10 mg IV

3.Symptom control

4.Airway management if indicated

5.Urgent Radiation Oncology Consult

6.If known Small Cell Lung Cancer, then worth a call to Medical Oncology

 

 


 

Pulmonary Embolus

*New dyspnea of unknown etiology in patient with active malignancy is a PE until proven otherwise

*Alternate explanations for new dyspnea are pericardial effusion, SVCO, lung tumor burden, anemia.

*Preferred treatment is LMWH indefinitely

 

Investigation of choice is CTPA

 

ECG may show S1QT3 – But don’t rely on this sign

PoCUS may also be helpful for initial triage of acute dyspneic patient – look for dilated RV and IVC

 

Treatment

*Dalteparin 200 units/kg sc for 1 month

then

*Dalteparin 150 untis/kg sc thereafter

*Main evidence for LMWH over warfarin comes from CLOT trial

*50% reduction in recurrent VTE with LMWH vs. warfarin

*Presumed to be because of poor tolerance of PO meds in patients with cancer nauseated from chemo

*May not be relevant in era of modern anti-emetics and anticoagulants, data pending

 


 

Epidural Spinal Cord Compression

1.Back pain (90% of cases)

2.Motor weakness

3.Sensory impairment

4.Autonomic dysfunction

5.Perianal numbness

6.Conus medullaris syndrome

 

Investigations and Treatment

*Dexamethasone 10-20 mg IV immediately if SCC is suspected

*MRI is preferred (generally T/L spine)

*Radiation Oncology if previously diagnosed malignancy

*Neurosurgery if new diagnosis of malignancy

 


 

 

 


SJRH Oncology Services – On Call Consults

 

 

 


Full Presentation

 

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