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Scant data are available on the clinical significance of rhinovirus infections in immunocompromised patients. We reviewed the clinical courses of and outcomes for 22 myelosuppressed adult blood and marrow transplant recipients with rhinovirus infections who were hospitalized at the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center (Houston) from January 1992 to January 1997. In 15 patients (68%), illnesses remained confined to the upper respiratory tract. Seven patients (32%) developed fatal pneumonia. These patients had profound respiratory failure a mean of 12 days (range, 3-21 days) after the onset of symptoms. In six of these seven cases, rhinovirus was isolated before death from a bronchoalveolar lavage fluid specimen and/or an endotracheal aspirate. Five patients underwent autopsies, one of which revealed disseminated aspergillosis and four of which revealed interstitial pneumonitis and/or acute respiratory distress syndrome and no other organisms. In conclusion, rhinovirus infections may be associated with considerable pulmonary-related morbidity and mortality in severely myelosuppressed immunocompromised patients.