Adverse events during hematopoietic stem cell infusion: Analysis of the infusion product

Neelima Vidula*, Marcelo Villa, Irene B. Helenowski, Mehboob Merchant, Borko D. Jovanovic, Richard Meagher, Jayesh Mehta, Seema Singhal, Jane N. Winter, Olga Frankfurt, Jessica K. Altman, Stephanie F. Williams, Leo I. Gordon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background Stem cell transplantation is a treatment option for patients with cancer. However, a risk of adverse events might be associated with the infusion itself. An understanding of the types and grades of adverse events occurring during infusion and the patient and infusion characteristics that might be associated with these events could allow for interventions to minimize these complications. The risk factors associated with transplant-related adverse events are not well understood. Materials and Methods We retrospectively analyzed the adverse events occurring within 1 hour after infusion in 460 patients with cancer undergoing stem cell transplantation at the Northwestern University Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center from January 1, 2008 and May 1, 2011. Of the 460 patients, 382 received autologous transplants and 78 allogeneic transplants. The incidence, types, and National Cancer Institute Common Terminology Criteria grade of toxicity for adverse events were noted (primary objective). Univariate analyses were performed to study which patient and infusion characteristics might be associated with the occurrence of adverse events (secondary objectives). Results Of the 460 patients, 261 (56.7%) experienced adverse events (66.7% during allogeneic infusion and 54.7% during autologous infusion). Most events were cardiopulmonary. Univariate analysis of the infusion and patient characteristics revealed that a second transplant (P =.005) was associated with more adverse events for autologous transplant patients. For allogeneic transplant patients, a higher infusion red blood cell volume (P =.01) was associated with more adverse events. Conclusion Adverse events are common during stem cell infusion and are generally cardiopulmonary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e157-e162
JournalClinical Lymphoma, Myeloma and Leukemia
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2015


  • Allogeneic transplantation
  • Autologous transplantation
  • Cardiopulmonary adverse events
  • Infusion red blood cell volume
  • Second transplant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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