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Blood. 2001 Aug 1;98(3):573-8.

Parainfluenza virus infections after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation: risk factors, response to antiviral therapy, and effect on transplant outcome.

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  • 1Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, University of Washington, 1100 Fairview Ave N., Seattle, WA 98109-4417, USA.


Parainfluenza virus (PIV) infections may be significant causes of morbidity and mortality in patients undergoing stem cell transplantation, but data regarding their impact on transplant-related mortality is limited. This study sought to determine the risk factors of PIV acquisition and progression to lower respiratory tract infection, their impact on transplant-related mortality, and the effectiveness of antiviral therapy. A total of 3577 recipients of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) between 1990 and 1999 were studied. PIV infections occurred in 253 patients (7.1%); 78% of these infections were community acquired. Multivariable analysis identified the receipt of an unrelated transplant as the only risk factor for PIV acquisition; the dose of corticosteroids at the time of PIV infection acquisition was the primary factor associated with the development of PIV-3 pneumonia, both among allogeneic and autologous HSCT recipients. Both PIV-3 upper respiratory infection and pneumonia were associated with overall mortality. Pulmonary copathogens were isolated from 29 patients (53%) with pneumonia. Mortality was highly influenced by the presence of copathogens and the need for mechanical ventilation. Aerosolized ribavirin with or without intravenous immunoglobulin did not appear to alter mortality from PIV-3 pneumonia, nor did such therapy decrease the duration of viral shedding from the nasopharynx among patients with pneumonia. Corticosteroid administration thus drives the development of PIV pneumonia in a dose-dependent fashion, even among autologous HSCT recipients. Both upper and lower tract PIV infections are predictors of mortality after HSCT. Currently available antiviral therapy appears to be inadequate in reducing viral shedding or mortality once pneumonia is established. (Blood. 2001;98:573-578)

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