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Infectious Complications After Umbilical Cord Blood Transplantation for Hematological Malignancy.

Background: Umbilical cord blood transplant (UCBT) is used for patients who do not have a matched donor, but engraftment often takes longer than with a standard allogeneic transplant, likely increasing the risk for infection. We characterized specific infections and outcomes in adults undergoing UCBT at our 2 centers.

Methods: All adults who underwent UCBT between January 1, 2006 and December 31, 2015 were included. Infectious episodes from 6 months before to 2 years after UCBT were reviewed.

Results: Fifty-seven patients underwent UCBT; 47 had neutrophil engraftment. A total of 179 infectious episodes occurred in 55 patients, 73 (41%) within 30 days post-UCBT. Viruses caused 85 (47%) infections. Cytomegalovirus caused 32 infectious episodes and was most common from day 30 to 100. Human herpesvirus 6 occurred in 28 episodes, was most common within 30 days, and caused 1 death. Bacteria were responsible for 82 (46%) infections, most commonly bacteremias due to Staphylococcus spp, Enterococcus spp, and Enterobacteriaceae . Of 11 invasive fungal infections, 9 were aspergillosis, 4 of which were fatal. Overall mortality was 56% in the first year. Thirteen deaths were from infection; 11 occurred in the first 100 days and 7 in the first 30 days post-UCBT. Of 10 patients who never engrafted, 9 died, 6 from infection, within 100 days post-UCBT.

Conclusions: Infectious complications were common after UCBT, especially in the first 30 days. Deaths from viral infections were fewer than expected. Delayed engraftment and nonengraftment continue to convey increased risk for fatal bacterial and fungal infections post-UCBT.

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