Herpes Zoster in Autologous Hematopoietic Cell Transplant Recipients in the Era of Acyclovir or Valacyclovir Prophylaxis and Novel Treatment and Maintenance Therapies.

Publication Type:

Journal Article

Source:

Biology of blood and marrow transplantation : journal of the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (2016)

Abstract:

The epidemiology of herpes zoster (HZ) in contemporary autologous hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) recipients, and the impact of acyclovir (ACV)/valacyclovir (VACV) prophylaxis, is not well described. In this observational study from 2002 to 2010, we retrospectively identified 1000 varicella zoster virus (VZV)-seropositive autologous HCT recipients with up to 5 years of follow-up. The incidence of HZ and use of ACV/VACV prophylaxis were determined through review of medical records and mailed questionnaires. Risk factors for HZ were determined by multivariable Cox regression. Over a period of 5 years after autologous HCT, 194 patients developed at least 1 HZ episode, with a cumulative incidence of 21%; 159 of 194 (82%) were not on prophylaxis at the time of HZ. A second episode of HZ occurred in 31 of 194 (16%) patients. Patients taking ACV/VACV had reduced risk for HZ (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], .59; 95% confidence interval [CI], .37 to .91), whereas those older than the median age (≥55.5 years) had increased risk (aHR, 1.42; 95% CI, 1.05 to 1.9). Disseminated VZV was reported in 8% and postherpetic neuralgia in 13% of patients. We demonstrate a high burden of HZ late after autologous HCT, despite long-term antiviral prophylaxis. Improved prevention strategies are needed to provide sustained protection against HZ after autologous HCT.