Improved outcomes over time and higher mortality in CMV seropositive allogeneic stem cell transplantation patients with COVID-19; An infectious disease working party study from the European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation registry

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Ljungman P., Tridello G., Piñana J. L., Ciceri F., Sengeloev H., Kulagin A., ...More

Frontiers in Immunology, vol.14, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 14
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.3389/fimmu.2023.1125824
  • Journal Name: Frontiers in Immunology
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: allogeneic, CMV, COVID-19, risk factors, stem cell transplantation
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


Introduction: COVID-19 has been associated with high morbidity and mortality in allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant (allo-HCT) recipients. Methods: This study reports on 986 patients reported to the EBMT registry during the first 29 months of the pandemic. Results: The median age was 50.3 years (min – max; 1.0 – 80.7). The median time from most recent HCT to diagnosis of COVID-19 was 20 months (min – max; 0.0 – 383.9). The median time was 19.3 (0.0 - 287.6) months during 2020, 21.2 (0.1 - 324.5) months during 2021, and 19.7 (0.1 – 383.9) months during 2022 (p = NS). 145/986 (14.7%) patients died; 124 (12.6%) due to COVID-19 and 21 of other causes. Only 2/204 (1%) fully vaccinated patients died from COVID-19. There was a successive improvement in overall survival over time. In multivariate analysis, increasing age (p<.0001), worse performance status (p<.0001), contracting COVID-19 within the first 30 days (p<.0001) or 30 – 100 days after HCT (p=.003), ongoing immunosuppression (p=.004), pre-existing lung disease (p=.003), and recipient CMV seropositivity (p=.004) had negative impact on overall survival while patients contracting COVID-19 in 2020 (p<.0001) or 2021 (p=.027) had worse overall survival than patients with COVID-19 diagnosed in 2022. Discussion: Although the outcome of COVID-19 has improved, patients having risk factors were still at risk for severe COVID-19 including death.