Impact of COVID-19 on patients treated with autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation: A retrospective cohort study

Keywords: Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, virus, multiple myeloma, lymphoma, immunosuppression therapy, transplantation autologous


Objective: To describe how coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) affects patients with hematological malignancies treated with autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (ASCT).

Methods: This retrospective observational cohort study includes all patients with hematological malignancies treated with ASCT in Sweden from 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2020. Patients who subsequently tested positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) until 31 March 2021 were analyzed for morbidity, mortality, need for supportive care, and risk factors related to COVID-19.

Results: This study identified 442 patients who underwent ASCT in Sweden in 2020, among whom 20 (4.5%) subsequently tested positive for COVID-19. The overall mortality was 15%, and the COVID-19-related mortality was 10% among the patients who contracted COVID-19. Six (35%) patients were hospitalized, of which four (24%) needed supplementary oxygen and two (12%) needed intensive care. The absolute risk of COVID-19-related mortality was 0.45%.

Conclusions: ASCT patients have a higher risk of severe outcome of COVID-19 compared to the normal population. However, the risks of death, inpatient care, oxygen therapy, and intensive care seem lower in this study compared to previous studies, possibly due to fewer mildly ill patients in other studies. The risk of contracting SARS-CoV-2 appears to be comparable to that in the general population. This study suggests that the COVID-19 pandemic is not a strong argument for refraining from ASCT in the case of hematological malignancy.


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How to Cite
Silfverberg T., Wahlin B., Carlson K., & Cherif H. (2022). Impact of COVID-19 on patients treated with autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation: A retrospective cohort study. Upsala Journal of Medical Sciences, 127(1).