Herpesviridae Viral Infections After Chemotherapy Without Antiviral Prophylaxis in Patients With Malignant Lymphoma: Incidence and Risk Factors

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Abstract

Objectives

The herpesviridae family includes, among others, herpes simplex virus, varicella zoster virus, Epstein-Barr virus, and cytomegalovirus. Herpesviridae viral infections (HVIs) can lead to serious complications in lymphoma patients undergoing chemotherapy. There is no consensus on the dose and duration of antiviral prophylaxis in these patients. We retrospectively analyzed the incidence and risk factors for HVI in lymphoma patients undergoing chemotherapy.

Methods

We reviewed the records of 266 patients who were newly diagnosed with lymphoma and received chemotherapy without acyclovir prophylaxis between June 1996 and August 2009.

Results

The cumulative incidence rate of HVI was 20.16% for 5 years from the start of chemotherapy. Independent predictive factors for HVI in lymphoma patients were: female sex [hazard ratio (HR) 2.394; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.245-4.607; P=0.009], cumulative dose of steroids per body surface area of at least 2500 mg/m2 (HR 7.717; 95% CI: 3.814-18.703; P<0.001), and history of neutropenic fever (HR 0.297; 95% CI: 0.150-0.588; P<0.001).

Conclusions

Female sex, high dose of steroids per body surface area, and neutropenic fever were risk factors for HVI in patients with lymphoma undergoing chemotherapy without acyclovir prophylaxis.

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