Contribution of Clostridium difficile infection to the development of lower gastrointestinal adverse events during autologous stem cell transplantation

S. Apewokin, J. A. Goodwin, J. Y. Lee, S. W. Erickson, N. Sanathkumar, V. R. Raj, D. Zhou, K. D. Mckelvey, O. Stephens, E. A. Coleman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Lower gastrointestinal (GI) adverse events (LGAE) are common afflictions of patients undergoing stem cell transplantation (SCT). Unfortunately, the pathophysiology remains poorly characterized. Emerging data suggest a prominent role of intestinal microbiota; however, contributions of pathogenic gut microbiota such as Clostridium difficile are not well defined. We performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) to investigate clinical and genetic factors associated with development of LGAE. Methods: A total of 972 patients undergoing autologous SCT were graded for LGAE based on Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (v 4.0). Germline DNA material was obtained from leukapharesis products and genotyped using Illumina® Whole Genome Genotyping Infinium chemistry and HumanOmni1-Quad Bead chips containing over 1.1 million single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (Illumina, San Diego, California, USA). Statistical models incorporating clinical factors, genetic factors, and a combination of clinical plus genetic factors were utilized to compare patients who developed severe LGAE (grade 2 or above) and others. Results: Among 972 patients, 459 (47.2%) developed severe LGAE. Baseline hemoglobin and hematocrit, estimated glomerular filtration rate, β2-microglobulin, protocol type, and C. difficile infection (CDI) were associated with severe LGAE on univariate analysis, Genomic comparisons between groups did not reveal any SNPs associated with severe LGAE and neither did incorporation of genetic factors into the clinical model. In addition, 11 candidate SNPs associated with upper GI mucositis were evaluated, alongside clinical factors in a multivariate model. Only CDI was found to be associated with severe LGAE in all models. Conclusion: CDI is a prominent factor in the development of LGAE in patients undergoing autologous SCT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)566-573
Number of pages8
JournalTransplant Infectious Disease
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Cancer
  • Chemotherapy
  • Clostridium difficile
  • GI adverse events
  • GWAS
  • Stem cell transplant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'Contribution of Clostridium difficile infection to the development of lower gastrointestinal adverse events during autologous stem cell transplantation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this