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Bone Marrow Transplant. 1999 Jun;23(11):1177-81.

Using at least 5x10(6)/kg CD34+ cells for autologous stem cell transplantation significantly reduces febrile complications and use of antibiotics after transplantation.

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I Dept of Medicine, University of Cologne, Germany.


For autologous stem cell transplantation, it is common practice to infuse at least 2 x 10(6)/kg CD34+ cells to ensure rapid engraftment. However it was recently claimed that increasing the threshold to 5 x 10(6)/kg leads to a faster platelet engraftment. To evaluate these threshold values in our patient population we undertook a retrospective analysis of 127 autologous transplants performed at our institution between 1992 and 1998. Diagnoses included Hodgkin's and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, myeloma, acute leukaemias and solid tumours. The transplant was peripheral blood stem cells in 107 cases and CD34-selected peripheral blood stem cells in 20 cases. The median number of transplanted CD34+ cells was 3.2 x 10(6)/kg (range 0.64-25.9 x 10(6)/kg). Haematopoietic recovery to a neutrophil count >0.5 x 10(9)/l took a median of 10 (range 5-16) days from transplant. When comparing patients receiving at least 5 x 10(6)/kg and 2-5 x 10(6)/kg CD34+ cells we found a significant reduction in the median number of days with fever (1 vs 3.5 days, P = 0.0025), incidence of fever (78.8 vs 92.1%, P = 0.032) as well as duration of antibiotic treatment (7 vs 10 days, P = 0.038). This was paralleled by a faster neutrophil recovery to 0.5 x 10(9)/l (9 vs 10 days, P = 0.047). There was no significant difference in the number of platelet or red cell transfusions between the two groups. We conclude that transplantation with a stem cell dose of at least 5 x 10(6)/kg CD34+ cells reduces infectious complications and should thereby increase the safety of this type of therapy while reducing duration (and cost) of antibiotic therapy. The transplantation threshold should thus not remain at 2 x 10(6)/kg particularly in patients with a good stem cell mobilisation capacity.

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