Oral health status and risk of bacteremia following allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation

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The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of oral health status on bacteremia risk in a cohort of patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) who underwent chemotherapy followed by myeloablative allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT).

Study Design.

A retrospective study was conducted in patients with AML from 2007 to 2011. Oral health status was determined from a pre–allo-HCT dental evaluation. Positive blood cultures were recorded from AML induction to post–allo-HCT day +60. Organisms that caused bacteremia were classified as “of possible oral source” by a blinded microbiologist. Two-sided Fisher's exact test was used to compare the oral health status of the entire cohort with that of patients with blood cultures of potential oral source.


Pre–allo-HCT dental evaluations were completed in 91 (99%) of 92 patients. Of these 91 patients, 13 (14%) with dental pathology (13 of 13 [100%]) completed all required dental treatment before allo-HCT. Bacteremias occurred in 63 of 92 patients (68%), and 12 (19%) of 63 patients had positive blood cultures of potential oral source. Of these, 1 of 12 patients developed bacteremia during AML induction, and 11 of 12 developed bacteremia during allo-HCT.


Oral health status was not associated with risk of bacteremia of potential oral source either at AML induction or consolidation or at allo-HCT.

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