Increased infection rate after preemptive rituximab treatment for epstein-barr virus reactivation after allogeneic hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation

Anna D. Petropoulou, Raphael Porcher, Regis Peffault De Latour, Alienor Xhaard, Daniel Weisdorf, Patricia Ribaud, Paula Rodriguez-Otero, Félix Agbalika, Alexis Talbot, Antoine Toubert, Hélène Moins-Teisserenc, Maryvonnick Carmagnat, Gerard Socié, Marie Robin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Preemptive rituximab (R) treatment decreases the incidence of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) posttransplantation lymphoproliferative disease, but the extent of immune deficiency related to R in patients who received allogeneic hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation is unclear. The aim of our study was to evaluate the incidence of late infections and immune reconstitution after preemptive R treatment of EBV infection. Methods: Seventy-eight patients receiving preemptive R between January 2005 and January 2010 were studied. Fifty-two of them could be matched with controls (not receiving R) according to administration of antithymoglobulin, stem-cell source and donor type, age and grade of acute graft-versus-host disease. Results: Among the 78 patients with EBV reactivation treated with R, the 36-month cumulative incidence of bacterial, viral, and fungal infections was 64%, 59%, and 23%, respectively. When compared with controls, bacterial infection incidence was significantly higher in R patients (55% vs. 35%), and a slower reconstitution of B cells was observed. R patients had modest but not significantly higher nonrelapse mortality (35% vs. 15%) than controls. Conclusion: R has dramatically decreased risks of posttransplantation lymphoproliferative disease but is followed by a prolonged and profound B-cell deficiency associated with an excess risk of bacterial infection and higher mortality. R should be given with caution, and immunoglobulin replacement should be provided to limit these excess risks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)879-883
Number of pages5
JournalTransplantation
Volume94
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 27 2012

Keywords

  • EBV
  • PTLD
  • Rituximab

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