June 21, 2013

Impact of aerosolized ribavirin on mortality in 280 allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients with respiratory syncytial virus infections.


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In both HSCT and SOT (especially lung transplants), RSV infections carry a high risk of morbidity and mortality. Ribavirin has been used for the treatment of RSV; however, it is unclear whether ribavirin is best given orally, intravenously, or by aerosolization. Aerosolized ribavirin is teratogenic and requires administration in a negative pressure room. Therefore, many centers have not adopted its use owing to a paucity of data suggesting benefit. In this study, Shah et al. review 280 allo-HSCT patients with RSV infection at their center over a 12 year period. They show a high rate of complications from the virus including development of lower tract infection (29%) and death (16%). Their most important finding is that aerosolized ribavirin, when given to patients with upper tract infection, significantly reduced the risk of lower tract infection and also mortality. This study contributes to the growing information that aerosolized ribavirin may be beneficial for RSV treatment.

Transplant Infectious Disease

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