Clinical characteristics of human herpesvirus-6 myelitis after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and its favorable outcome by early intervention

Kohei Shiroshita, Takehiko Mori, Jun Kato, Masatoshi Sakurai, Yuya Koda, Ryohei Abe, Koichi Murakami, Chieko Sumiya, Shinya Fujita, Kentaro Yamaguchi, Rie Yamazaki, Hitomi Nakayama, Shigeaki Suzuki, Jin Nakahara, Shinichiro Okamoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

After allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6) can cause serious central nervous system (CNS) disorder and typically presents as encephalitis. Another manifestation of HHV-6 is myelitis, which has not been fully evaluated. In this study, we retrospectively analyzed 19 patients who developed HHV-6 myelitis after allogeneic HSCT. Median onset was 20 days after transplantation (range, 13–31), with a cumulative incidence of 4.1% at day 40 after transplantation. Median age at transplant was 50 years (range, 17–61). Median copy number of HHV-6 DNA was 3000 copies/ml in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF; range, 200–100,000). The most common symptoms were pruritus, pain of the extremities/back, and numbness. Three patients subsequently developed encephalitis in the clinical course of myelitis; their HHV-6 copy numbers in CSF had been higher than 10,000 copies/ml at the onset of myelitis. Antiviral agents were initiated shortly after onset in all patients, resulting in recovery. These results suggest that myelitis would be an important subtype of HHV-6-associated CNS disorders after allogeneic HSCT, whose prognosis could be favorable by an early intervention. Transplant physicians should recognize early posttransplant neurological symptoms such as pruritus, pain, or numbness as possible signs of HHV-6 myelitis, which could also progress to encephalitis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)939-945
Number of pages7
JournalBone Marrow Transplantation
Volume55
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020 May 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Transplantation

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