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Doctor and patient in hospital
Photo courtesy of the CDC

SAN DIEGO—A retrospective study has provided insight into hospital readmissions related to opportunistic infection following hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT).

Of the roughly 4200 HSCT recipients studied, 26% were readmitted to the hospital due to opportunistic infection.

About 1 in 3 infection-related readmissions were due to double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) viral infections, and cytomegalovirus (CMV) infections were the most common.

Nearly half of the dsDNA viral infections occurred within the first month of HSCT discharge.

These findings were presented at ICAAC/ICC 2015 (poster T-1360). The study was sponsored by Chimerix, Inc.

Investigators searched the Premier hospital database for patients who underwent HSCT between January 2009 and September 2013. The team identified 4393 patients with a mean age of 50.4 years. Most were adults (91.2%), most were male (57.9%), and most received an autologous HSCT (63.2%).

About 42% (n=1841) of patients had a diagnostic code for opportunistic infection in their HSCT discharge records. Overall, 7.3% (n=319) of patients had dsDNA virus infections, including 13.4% (n=216) of patients who received an allogeneic HSCT.

One hundred and fifty-seven patients died during HSCT hospitalization, leaving 4236 patients evaluable for readmission analysis.

In all, 37.7% (n=1595) of the surviving patients were readmitted to the hospital for any reason during the 12 months after HSCT discharge. And 65.6% of the readmissions occurred within the first 3 months of HSCT discharge.

Readmissions were most frequently related to opportunistic infections (25.8%, n=1091), followed by graft-versus-host disease (13.7%, n=579), renal impairment (11.1%, n=470), and neutropenia (10.0%, n=422).

The investigators noted that patients may have had multiple readmissions or readmission with multiple diagnoses.

Of the hospital readmissions related to opportunistic infections, 32.0% (n=349) were related to dsDNA virus infections. This included CMV (65.9%, n=230), BK virus (13.8%, n=48), adenovirus (5.2%, n=18), and other dsDNA virus infections (32.7%, n=114).

Patients may have experienced more than one viral infection, so the number of hospital readmissions related to each dsDNA virus was not mutually exclusive.

Readmission within the first month of HSCT discharge occurred in 41.8% of patients with any dsDNA virus infection, 49.6% with CMV infection, and 56.3% with BK virus infection. More than half (55.6%) of readmissions related to adenovirus infection occurred within the first 3 months of HSCT discharge.

Taking these results together, the investigators concluded that hospital readmissions related to opportunistic infections were relatively common among HSCT recipients. So strategies that minimize the risks of these infections might have significant clinical and economic advantages. end hematology article

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