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Clin Microbiol Infect. 2008 Dec;14(12):1160-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-0691.2008.02106.x. Epub 2008 Nov 25.

Fatal cytomegalovirus pneumonia in patients with haematological malignancies: an autopsy-based case-control study.

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Department of Infectious Diseases, Infection Control, and Employee Health, The University of Texas, M.D Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77230-1402, USA.


Cytomegalovirus (CMV) pneumonia is a life-threatening infection in patients with haematological malignancies (HMs) or in haematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) recipients. To assess the incidence and risk factors for developing fatal CMV pneumonia in these patients, a case-control study based on 999 autopsies was performed at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas (January 1990 to December 2004). Twenty-five cases (patients who died with CMV pneumonia) were matched with 34 controls (patients who died without CMV pneumonia) by type of HM or HSCT, year of autopsy, age and gender. The incidence of CMV pneumonia declined between January 1990 to June /1997 and July 1997 to December 2004 (CMV pneumonia rates were 22/620 and 3/379 autopsies, respectively; p 0.006). Logistic regression analysis identified complete remission and sustained lymphopenia as independent predictors of CMV pneumonia (all p <0.05). The incidence of fatal CMV pneumonia has decreased over the last 15 years, which might reflect earlier diagnosis or the use of pre-emptive therapy or more effective preventive strategies. Complete remission of an HM does not preclude the development of CMV pneumonia among patients with prolonged lymphopenia.

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