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Bone Marrow Transplant. 2010 Feb;45(2):339-47. doi: 10.1038/bmt.2009.149. Epub 2009 Jun 29.

Infections in non-myeloablative hematopoietic stem cell transplantation patients with lymphoid malignancies: spectrum of infections, predictors of outcome and proposed guidelines for fungal infection prevention.

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Department of Infectious Diseases, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA.


The overall risk of infections is lower in patients undergoing non-myeloablative allogeneic stem cell transplantation (NST) than in conventional stem cell transplant recipients. We sought to evaluate conditions associated with increased risk of infections after NST. In 81 patients, 187 infection episodes were noted; chronic lymphocytic leukemia (138 episodes/100 person-years) and recipients of matched unrelated donor graft (128 episodes/100 person-years) had higher risk of infection. Only half of the cytomegalovirus (CMV) infections occurred 31-100 days after transplantation. Most patients with CMV infection were non-neutropenic (100%), had lymphoma (76%), were younger (<55 years; 72%) and had received matched related donor (MRD) graft (72%). However, graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) was present in only 15% of these patients. Seven (78%) of nine invasive fungal infections (IFI) were diagnosed >100 days after NST and were associated with high mortality (78%). Most patients with IFI were also not neutropenic (100%), had received MRD graft (100%), had lymphoma (78%) and were given systemic steroids (78%); unlike CMV infection, 67% of these patients also had GVHD. On the basis of our results, we propose that NST recipients with lymphoma treated with high-dose corticosteroids for GVHD be considered for antifungal prophylaxis or pre-emptive antifungal therapy.

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