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Clinical experience of granulocyte transfusion in the management of neutropenic patients with haematological malignancies and severe infection
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Haematology.
2013 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Infectious Diseases, ISSN 0036-5548, Vol. 45, no 2, 112-116 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]


Prolonged chemotherapy-induced neutropenia is a major risk factor for the development of severe bacterial and fungal infections. Infectious manifestations may progress despite adequate anti-infectious treatment and lead to a very high short-term mortality. Granulocyte transfusion (GT) therapy is often considered. However, its efficacy is not well documented.


We retrospectively analyzed the clinical characteristics and outcome of a cohort of patients with haematological malignancies receiving GT during neutropenia and severe infection.


A total of 30 patients with a median age of 46 y (range 3-82 y) who had received 1 or more GT were included. Acute leukaemia (80%) and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (17%) predominated as the underlying malignancy. All patients had severe and prolonged (median 16 days) neutropenia. The major indications for GT were persistent fever and clinical deterioration despite broad anti-infectious therapy, in combination with progressive pneumonia (n = 16), neutropenic enterocolitis (n = 6), and soft tissue infections (n = 3). GTs were given for a median of 3 transfusions (range 1-14). The median time to fever defervescence after GT was 14 days (range 6-33 days). For 11 patients, the resolution of fever and all signs of infection could directly be related to GT, and 3 of these patients became long-term survivors. Mortality at 30 days post-GT was 40% and at 6 months post-GT was 72%. GT was well tolerated.


A substantial proportion of severely ill neutropenic patients appeared to benefit from GT. The results further underline the need for well- designed, randomized, prospective trials to determine the efficacy of this intervention in patients with life-threatening infectious complications.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 45, no 2, 112-116 p.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-182556DOI: 10.3109/00365548.2012.714906ISI: 000313677200005PubMedID: 22992038OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-182556DiVA: diva2:560007
Available from: 2012-10-11 Created: 2012-10-11 Last updated: 2013-02-19Bibliographically approved

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