Cytomegalovirus (CMV) disease is a major cause of infectious complications in allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT). Although patients undergoing allo-HSCT receive prophylactic and preemptive treatment for CMV, a subset of patients experience clinically significant CMV disease. This study investigated the risk factors for progression from CMV viremia to CMV disease during or after preemptive therapy in patients undergoing allo-HSCT. Between January 2006 and August 2010, 43 patients received preemptive therapy for CMV viremia after allo-HSCT. These patients experienced 74 episodes of CMV viremia. Nine of the patients (21%) and 12 of the episodes (16%) progressed to CMV disease. Univariate analysis identified several risk factors for progression to CMV disease, including high initial viral load (. P = .020), leukopenia (. P = .012), and neutropenia (. P = .033) at the time of detection of CMV viremia. On multivariate analysis, leukopenia remained an independent predictor (hazard ratio, 4.347; . P = .045). The rate of failure to clear CMV viremia after 1 cycle of preemptive therapy was higher in the leukopenia group than in the non-leukopenia group (60.0% versus 16.9%; . P = .002). This indicates that leukopenia initially documented with CMV viremia is related to lower viral response to preemptive therapy and is a notable risk factor for progression from CMV viremia to CMV disease.
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