We retrospectively investigated L-index, which evaluates both the intensity and duration of lymphopenia after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) (n = 50). L-index was defined as the area over the lymphocyte curve during lymphopenia (absolute lymphocyte count < 700/μL). We calculated the L-index from the start of conditioning to day 30 - L-index(30) - and to day 100 - L-index(100) - after HSCT. Multivariate analysis revealed that human leukocyte antigen mismatched donor, female gender, and non-lymphoid disease were significantly associated with high L-index(30). Grade III-IV acute graft-versus-host disease, alemtuzumab-containing regimen, and non-lymphoid disease were identified as independent significant factors for high L-index(100). Cytomegalovirus (CMV) antigenemia was detected > 3 cells/2 slides by C10/11 method in 30 patients (CMV-AG ≥ 3 group) and was not detected in 20 patients (CMV-AG < 3 group). Although no significant difference was seen in absolute lymphocyte count on day 30 between the 2 groups, the L-index(30) was significantly higher in the CMV-AG ≥ 3 group than in the CMV-AG < 3 group (P = 0.050). L-index(30) was identified as an independent factor on CMV reactivation in multivariate analysis, when it was treated as a dichotomous variable with a cut-off value of 22,318, determined by receiver operating characteristic curve analysis. In conclusion, both the intensity and duration of lymphopenia in early phase after HSCT evaluated on the basis of L-index(30) showed significant association with CMV reactivation.
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