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Hematologic Malignancies and Flu Risk Evaluated

J Med Virol; ePub 2017 Aug 29; Vilar-Compte, et al

Patients with hematologic malignancies who have influenza are prone to serious complications, particularly if they are immunosuppressed, according to a retrospective analysis involving 190 individuals. Participants were a median 49 years of age, had a hematologic malignancy, and were diagnosed with influenza between 2009 to 2014 at 1 of 2 centers. Among the results:

  • Patients with leukemia, decreased albumin level, hypoxia at diagnosis, respiratory co-infection, and corticosteroid use were significantly more likely to experience lower respiratory tract infection.
  • Elevated creatinine level, hypoxia at diagnosis, and respiratory co-infection, were significantly linked with 60-day mortality.

The authors noted that patients with respiratory symptoms should receive care right away during flu season.


Vilar-Compte D, Shah D, Vanichanan J, et al. Influenza in patients with hematological malignancies: Experience at two comprehensive cancer centers. [Published online ahead of print August 29, 2017]. J Med Virol. doi:10.1002/jmv.24930.