Pulmonary infectious complications after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation: a practical guide to clinicians

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Abstract

Purpose of review

The current review highlights the most relevant articles on lung infections following hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HCT) published over the last year. Between 30 and 50% of HCT recipients will develop pulmonary infiltrates. These pulmonary complications may be infectious (caused by virus, bacteria, fungi, or protozoa) or noninfectious (e.g., fluid overload, heart failure, transfusion reactions like transfusion associated lung injury and transfusion-associated circulatory overload, drug reactions, engraftment syndrome, idiopathic pneumonia syndrome, diffuse alveolar hemorrhage, cryptogenic organizing pneumonia, and bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome).

Recent findings

New data on the yield of bronchoscopy and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL), the prevalence and clinical manifestations of respiratory viruses and the usefulness of molecular techniques for diagnosis have been published. In addition, guidelines or meta-analyses on the management of neutropenic fever, serological diagnosis of fungal infections and diagnosis and management of Pneumocystis and aspergillosis have been published.

Summary

Respiratory viruses are important pathogens after HCT. PCR in the BAL is becoming the diagnostic modality of choice for a variety of infections. The best approach for the empirical management of pulmonary infiltrates following HCT remains to be defined.

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