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Invasive aspergillosis in allogeneic stem cell transplant recipients: changes in epidemiology and risk factors

Kieren A. Marr, Rachel A. Carter, Michael Boeckh, Paul Martin and Lawrence Corey

Abstract

The incidence of postengraftment invasive aspergillosis (IA) in hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) recipients increased during the 1990s. We determined risks for IA and outcomes among 1682 patients who received HSCTs between January 1993 and December 1998. Risk factors included host variables (age, underlying disease), transplant variables (stem cell source), and late complications (acute and chronic graft-versus-host disease [GVHD], receipt of corticosteroids, secondary neutropenia, cytomegalovirus [CMV] disease, and respiratory virus infection). We identified risk factors associated with IA early after transplantation (≤ 40 days) and after engraftment (41-180 days). Older patient age was associated with an increased risk during both periods. Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) in chronic phase was associated with low risk for early IA compared with other hematologic malignancies, aplastic anemia, and myelodysplastic syndrome. Multiple myeloma was associated with an increased risk for postengraftment IA. Use of human leukocyte antigen (HLA)–matched related (MR) peripheral blood stem cells conferred protection against early IA compared with use of MR bone marrow, but use of cord blood increased the risk of IA early after transplantation. Factors that increased risks for IA after engraftment included receipt of T cell–depleted or CD34-selected stem cell products, receipt of corticosteroids, neutropenia, lymphopenia, GVHD, CMV disease, and respiratory virus infections. Very late IA (> 6 months after transplantation) was associated with chronic GVHD and CMV disease. These results emphasize the postengraftment timing of IA; risk factor analyses verify previously recognized risk factors (GVHD, receipt of corticosteroids, and neutropenia) and uncover the roles of lymphopenia and viral infections in increasing the incidence of postengraftment IA in the 1990s.

  • Submitted May 21, 2002.
  • Accepted July 17, 2002.
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