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Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2005 May;11(5):362-70.

Serious infections after unrelated donor transplantation in 136 children: impact of stem cell source.

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  • 1Division of Medical Hematology, Oncology, and Transplantation, University of Minnesota Blood and Marrow Transplant Program, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.


How the infection risks compare after umbilical cord blood (UCB) and bone marrow (BM) transplantation is not known. Therefore, we compared serious infections in the 2 years after pediatric myeloablative unrelated donor transplantation with unmanipulated BM (n = 52), T cell-depleted (TCD) BM (n = 24), or UCB (n = 60) for the treatment of hematologic malignancy. Overall, the cumulative incidence of 1 or more serious infections was comparable between groups (BM, 81%; TCD, 83%; UCB, 90%; P = .12). Furthermore, by taking all serious infections into account and using multivariate techniques with unmanipulated BM as the reference, there were also no significant differences between groups (TCD relative risk [RR], 1.6; P = .10; UCB RR, 1.0; P = .84). Within the time periods days 0 to 42, days 43 to 100, and days 101 to 180, the only difference was a greater risk of viral infections from days 0 to 42 in TCD recipients (RR, 3.5; P = .02). Notably, after day 180, TCD recipients had a significantly increased infection risk (RR, 3.1; P = .03), whereas the risk in UCB recipients (RR, 0.5; P = .23) was comparable to that in BM recipients. Other factors associated with an increased infection risk in the 2 years after transplantation were age > or = 8 years, graft failure, and severe acute graft-versus-host disease. These data suggest that the risk of serious infection after pediatric UCB transplantation is comparable to that with unmanipulated BM.

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