Scientific publications

Low Rate of Infectious Enterocolitis in Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplant Recipients with Acute Diarrhea: A Prospective Study by the GETH-TC

Mar 15, 2023 | Magazine: Acta Haematologica

Sara Redondo Velao  1 , Irene Garcia Cadenas  1 , Mª Angeles Cuesta  2 , Isabel Sanchez-Ortega  3 , Francesc Fernández-Avilés  4 , Elisa Roldan  5 , Anna Torrent  6 , M Cruz Viguria  7 , Sara Villar  8 , Leyre Bento  9 , Lucrecia Yáñez  10 , Rodrigo Martino  1 , Jose Luis Piñana  11 ; GRUCINI committe of the Grupo Español de Trasplante Hematopoyético y Terapia Celular (GETH-TC)


Acute diarrhea is a common and debilitating complication in recipients of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HCT).

In this prospective, observational, and multicenter study we examined all episodes occurring in the first 6 months of 142 consecutive adult patients who underwent a reduced-intensity conditioning HCT in 10 Spanish tertiary university hospitals. Fifty-four patients (38%) developed a total of 75 acute diarrhea episodes.

The median time from HCT to the first episode was 38 days (4-157). The main cause of enterocolitis was lower GI-aGVHD (38%), followed by infections (21%) and drug-related toxicity (8%). Causative infectious causes were identified in only 16/75 episodes (21%). C. difficile-related infection was the most common infectious agent with an incidence and recurrence of 13% and 2%, respectively

With a median follow-up for survivors of 32 months, the non-relapse mortality (NRM) and the overall survival (OS) at 1 year, were 20% (95% C.I.: 14-28%) and 69% (95% C.I.: 61-77%), respectively. Development of enterocolitis was not associated with higher NRM (p = 0.37) or worse OS (p = 0.9).

This real-life study confirms that the diagnosis and management of acute diarrhea in the early stages after HCT is challenging. Nosocomial infections seem to be relatively uncommon, probably due to more rational use of antibiotics.

CITATION  Acta Haematol. 2023;146(2):161-165. doi: 10.1159/000528242. Epub 2022 Nov 29. 

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Dr. Sara Villar Fernández
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