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Dynamics in children and adolescents who experience varicella zoster virus infections after haematopoietic stem cell transplantation: a case-control study

  • S. AYTAÇ (a1), S. S. YALÇIN (a2), Ö. KÜÇÜKBAYRAK (a3), M. ÇETİN (a1) and D. UÇKAN (a3)...

Summary

We evaluated the incidence of varicella-zoster virus (VZV) infections, including herpes zoster (HZ), and investigated the associated risk factors for HZ and compared lymphocyte subsets of these patients at 1, 3 and 6 months following haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) in a case-control study in children and adolescents. The incidence of HZ infection at the first year after HSCT was 17/125 (13·6%). The cumulative incidence of HZ infection was 22/125 (17·6%). Sixteen (73%) cases with HZ and 11 (32%) cases in the control group had a diagnosis of malignant disorder. No significant difference was noted between the HZ group and the control group in absolute lymphocyte number and subsets (except WBC) at the pre-transplant evaluation. Pre-transplant WBC count was statistically lower in the HZ group (P<0·05). The CD4/CD8 ratios were lower in the HZ group during the first 6 months after HSCT, and the decrease was statistically significant at 6 months compared to the control group. In conclusion, patients undergoing HSCT for a malignant disorder had a significantly higher risk of VZV infection than those with non-malignant disorders and pretransplant donor characteristics were not helpful in predicting risk of post-transplant VZV infection.

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Corresponding author

*Author for correspondence: Professor Dr S. S. Yalçın, Hacettepe University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Social Pediatrics Unit, 06100, Ankara, Turkey. (Email: siyalçin@hacettepe.edu.tr)

References

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