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Curr Opin Infect Dis. 2005 Aug;18(4):346-51.

The influence of the conditions of hematopoietic cell transplantation on infectious complications.

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Division of Infectious Diseases, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California 94305, USA.



The multitude of factors that influence the risk of infection after hematopoietic cell transplantation has been further complicated by the rapid evolution of this therapy in the past 5 years. The degree to which functional immune reconstitution has been achieved reflects the equilibrium reached by the immune systems of the recipient and donor in the context of host non-hematopoietic tissue. Thus immunomodulatory influences on the recipient and the transplanted graft, both before and after hematopoietic cell transplantation, have a profound influence on the incidence and severity of infection. This review of the recent literature contributes to our understanding of how the conditions of hematopoietic cell transplantation influence the timing and nature of infectious complications.


The main themes of published primary research from 2004 to the present focus on non-myeloablative conditioning regimens and their effects on immune reconstitution after hematopoietic cell transplantation.


A plethora of clinical trials are ongoing, focused on the outcome after conditioning regimens designed to result in less regimen-related toxicity while preserving or enhancing the graft-versus-tumor effect. Given the infancy of these new approaches, it is not possible to make definitive statements regarding the relative risk of serious infection with each therapy. It is clear that a reduction in regimen-related non-infectious complications or mortality does not necessarily ensure a reduction in clinically significant infections. Improvements in early diagnostic and therapeutic options for these infections now bring us to an era of understanding pathogens as probes of the functional reconstitution of immunity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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