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Reactivation and infection from cytomegalovirus in patients undergoing high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplantation

Elpida Georgiadi, Maria Polikandrioti, Angeliki Mpaseta, Nektaria Alexopoulou, Maritsa Gourni

Sunday, September 1, 2013

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Pages: 113-130


Introduction: There are many pathogens that can cause infection to patients undergoing autologous blood stem cell transplantation, and one of them is the human cytomegalovirus (CMV). Genetic material of the virus can be found in various types of cells (monocytes/ macrophages, lymphocytes, endothelial cells), but the exact location, where the virus simultaneously lives on, is not known yet. When the human body is found in a condition that favours the reactivation of the virus (immune supression), the latter can cause life – threatening infections.

Purpose : The purpose of the present research was to record the frequency of CMV presence among patients undergoing autologous blood stem cell transplantation.

Material and Method: The study population consisted of 95 patients, hospitalized at the Bone Marrow Transplantation Unit of a public General Hospital of Athens. Data were collected by a specially designed questionnaire for the needs of the present research. For statistical analysis was used SPSS 13.0 statistic programme and the statistical methods used were Mann-Whitney, t-test, Kruskal-Willis test, Kolmogorov-Smirnov test for checking the normality of the distribution. The measure of the correlation between variables was the Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient (typically denoted by r). The significance levels are bilateral and the statistical significance is placed at 0.05.

Results: In this study of patients who underwent autologous transplantation, only 7 out of 84 patients (21,2%) had CMV reactivation and infection. The reactivation of the virus took place within 1 – 3 years after the transplantation. The analysis showed that none of these patients died of infection related to the virus.

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