Prevention of cytomegalovirus infection following bone marrow transplantation: A randomized trial of blood product screening

Wesley J Miller, J. McCullough, Henry H Balfour, R. J. Haake, N. K.C. Ramsay, A. Goldman, R. Bowman, J. Kersey

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126 Scopus citations


From 1983 to 1987, cytomegalovirus seronegative allogeneic bone marrow recipients were randomized to receive screened cytomegalovirus (CMV) seronegative or unscreened blood products and 125 patients were available for analysis. CMV infection occurred in 18% of patients in the screened versus 38% in the unscreened blood product group. However, only two of 64 patients in the screened group and seven of 61 in the unscreened group developed culture or biopsy-proven CMV infections. Bone marrow donor CMV seropositivity was associated with an increased risk of developing CMV infection (21% with seronegative and 46% with seropositive donor), and CMV infection was not prevented by blood product screening if the bone marrow donor was sero = positive (62% for screened, 42% for unscreened group, p = 0.80). One year survival censored for relapse was 52% in the screened group versus 68% in the unscreened group (p = 0.08). Gram negative bacteremia complicated bone marrow transplantation (BMT) in 35% of patients receiving screened and 15% of those receiving unscreened blood products (p = 0.02). Relapse did not differ in the screened and unscreened groups. By multivariate analysis, high risk disease (p = 0.0002), CMV infection (p = 0.004), screened blood products group (p = 0.011), recipient age > 17 (p = 0.027), chronic graft-versus-host disease (p = 0.014) and gram negative bacteremia (p = 0.004) independently had a negative influence on survival. We conclude that blood product screening was effective in preventing CMV infections following BMT if both the recipient and bone marrow donor were CMV seronegative. The use of seronegative blood products was, however, associated with an increase in gram negative bacteremia and failed to improve survival despite this reduction in CMV infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-234
Number of pages8
JournalBone marrow transplantation
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1991


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