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Br J Haematol. 2000 Dec;111(3):774-81.

High levels of human herpesvirus 6 DNA in peripheral blood leucocytes are correlated to platelet engraftment and disease in allogeneic stem cell transplant patients.

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Department of Haematology, Huddinge University Hospital, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.


The aim of this study was to correlate human herpesvirus (HHV)-6 viral load with clinical symptoms in allogeneic stem cell transplant (SCT) patients. Seventy-four patients were monitored during the first 3 months after SCT using a qualitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for HHV-6 DNA. HHV-6 was detected in 181 out of 494 samples (36%) from 58 (78%) patients. These 181 samples were analysed using a quantitative competitive PCR. DNA could be quantified from 146 out of 181 samples (80.6%). The HHV-6 viral load was highest at 4 weeks compared with 8 weeks (P < 0.001) and 12 weeks (P = 0.01) after SCT. Three patients had HHV-6 encephalitis and one patient had hepatitis. The HHV-6 DNA levels were higher in patients with HHV-6 than in those without HHV-6 (P = 0.01). Patients who received grafts from unrelated or HLA-mismatched family donors had significantly higher HHV-6 DNA levels than patients who received grafts from matched sibling donors (P < 0.001). In a multiple regression model, unrelated donor grafts (P < 0.001) and use of intravenous immunoglobulin prophylaxis (P = 0.04) influenced HHV-6 DNA levels. HHV-6 viral load was significantly correlated with delayed platelet engraftment in both univariate (P < 0.01) and multivariate analysis, and to the number of platelet transfusions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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