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Bone Marrow Transplant. 2012 Aug;47(8):1095-8. doi: 10.1038/bmt.2011.228. Epub 2011 Nov 14.

Clinical effectiveness of hyperbaric oxygen therapy for BK-virus-associated hemorrhagic cystitis after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation.

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  • 1Bone Marrow Transplantation Unit, Portuguese Oncology Institute, Porto, Portugal.


Late-onset hemorrhagic cystitis (HC) after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) has been associated with BK virus (BKV). Antiviral drugs are of limited efficacy and the optimal treatment for HC has not yet been established. Hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) may benefit these patients. We, therefore, retrospectively evaluated the effectiveness of HBO therapy in 16 patients with HC after allogeneic HSCT. All 16 patients had macroscopic hematuria and BKV infection. Patients received 100% oxygen in a hyperbaric chamber at 2.1 atmospheres for 90 min, 5 days per week, with a median 13 treatments (range, 4-84). Fifteen patients (94%) showed complete resolution of hematuria. Median urinary DNA BKV titers declined after HBO (P<0.05). Patients started on HBO earlier after diagnosis of HC responded sooner (P<0.05). HBO was generally well tolerated and proved to be a reliable option for this difficult to manage condition.

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