Post-SCT Cytomegalovirus Infection Increases Risk of GVHD and Decreases Overall Survival

By Dustin Samples - September 6, 2023

For patients receiving allogeneic stem cell transplantation (allo-SCT), cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection can lead to graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), organ rejection, and other serious complications.

In an abstract presented at the 11th Annual Meeting of the Society of Hematologic Oncology (SOHO), Houston, Texas, Barış Gezici, MD, Bozyaka Training and Research Hospital, Izmir, Turkey, shared the results of a retrospective study assessing the impact of CMV infection, CMV disease, and the development of BK polyomavirus-associated hemorrhagic cystitis (BKV-HC) on the overall survival of patients who underwent allo-SCT.

The study included 221 adult patients who underwent their first allo-SCT between 2012 and 2020 at a single center. Demographic details, transplant procedure specifics, complications, donor characteristics, and factors related to CMV infection, CMV disease, and BKV-HC were collected and analyzed.

Dr. Gezici shared that 60.6% of the patients were male (mean age, 41.5 years). Haploidentical donors were the least common type at 3.6%. The next most common donor type was matched unrelated (21.3%), and matched relatives were the most common at 75.1%.

More than one-third of the patients developed acute GVHD (38.9%), and 23% developed chronic GVHD.

For patients with CMV infection or BKV-HC, there was a 1.46- and 3.94-times higher risk of mortality compared to those without these complications, and these numbers were statistically significant. There was no statistically significant increased risk of mortality associated with CMV disease.

Dr. Gezici et al concluded, “The study findings demonstrate that the development of CMV infection and BKV-HC after allo-SCT is associated with decreased overall survival. Therefore, close monitoring for CMV infection and appropriate prophylaxis can help reduce the incidence of CMV infection and improve survival outcomes.”


Gezici B, Soyer NA, Güneş AE, et al. Evaluation of the Effects of Cytomegalovirus and BK Polyomavirus Infections on Overall Survival Following Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplantation: A Single Center Experience. Abstract CT-232. Presented at the 11th Annual Meeting of the Society of Hematologic Oncology; September 6-9, 2023; Houston, Texas.

Post Tags:SOHO 2023: GVHD