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Ann Hematol. 2005 Oct;84(11):734-41. Epub 2005 Jun 11.

Prophylactic and interventional granulocyte transfusions in patients with haematological malignancies and life-threatening infections during neutropenia.

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Department of Haematology and Oncology, Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Theodor-Stern-Kai 7, 60590, Frankfurt/Main, Germany.


Patients with haematological malignancies and prolonged periods of neutropenia after chemotherapy are at high risk for severe bacterial and fungal infections. Those infections have long time been considered as a contraindication for subsequent haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HCT). We conducted a prospective, non-randomized study of granulocyte transfusions (GTX) to control acute life-threatening infections (44 episodes) and to prevent recurrence of severe fungal infections during HCT or intensive chemotherapy (23 episodes). GTX achieved control in 82% (36/44) of acute life-threatening infections. No single reactivation of a previous infection occurred under prophylactic GTX (0/23). Median survival was 170 days in the interventional group and 185 days in the prophylactic group; death in both patient groups was mainly due to underlying progressive malignant disease. We conclude that under GTX, the infection-related mortality even in high-risk patients is low. Due to a secondary prophylaxis with GTX, haematopoietic allografts can be safely given to patients with previous fungal infections.

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