Fluoroquinolone Prophylaxis in Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation: Worthy of a Second Look

Joseph E. Maakaron, Christina Liscynesky, Zeinab El Boghdadly, Ying Huang, Akwasi Agyeman, Jonathan Brammer, Sam Penza, Yvonne Efebera, Don Benson, Ashley Rosko, Basem William, Samantha M. Jaglowski

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7 Scopus citations


Prophylaxis with fluoroquinolone (FQ) for patients undergoing autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) remains controversial. We performed a retrospective review of patients undergoing ASCT with and without bacterial prophylaxis to compare endpoints of interest. In accordance with institutional policy, patients undergoing ASCT for multiple myeloma routinely receive levofloxacin prophylaxis during their period of neutropenia, whereas patients undergoing the ASCT for lymphoma do not. We retrospectively examined patients with multiple myeloma (MM) or lymphoma undergoing ASCT between July 2015 and July 2018 for evidence of positive blood cultures. A total of 172 patients underwent ASCT for lymphoma and 343 underwent ASCT for MM. The 2 cohorts were similar in terms of baseline characteristics. Almost 20% (35 of 172) of the patients with lymphoma and 5.2% (18 of 342) of those with MM had a bloodstream infection (BSI). BSI occurred an average of 2 days earlier in patients with lymphoma compared with patients with MM (day +5 versus day +7; P =.0003). The 2 cohorts recovered absolute neutrophil count at the same time. Hospital length of stay was 2 days shorter for patients with MM (median, 20 days versus 18 days; P =.01). The majority of the organisms were gram-negative in both cohorts. Of the organisms commonly tested for FQ sensitivity, only 1 of 25 was resistant in the lymphoma cohort, compared with 7 of 9 in the MM cohort (P <.0001), with 4 being multidrug resistant. The odds of developing a BSI were 4.6 times greater in the lymphoma cohort compared with the MM cohort (95% confidence interval [CI], 2.52 to 8.40; P <.0001). In total, 23 of 172 patients with lymphoma (13.4%) and 28 of 342 patients with MM (8.2%) developed Clostridium difficile infection (odds ratio, 1.73; 95% CI,.96 to 3.11; P =.066). Two infection-related deaths occurred in the MM cohort. Our data indicate that FQ prophylaxis reduces the risk of BSI in patients undergoing ASCT but increases the incidence of resistant organisms. We recommend routine antimicrobial prophylaxis in patients undergoing ASCT to reduce the risk of BSI, along with a systematic and regular review of outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e198-e201
JournalBiology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy


  • Antibiotic prophylaxis
  • Autologous stem cell transplantation
  • Bacterial prophylaxis
  • Bloodstream infection
  • Clostridium difficile infection
  • Febrile neutropenia
  • Fluoroquinolone
  • Levofloxacin

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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