Influenza in patients with hematological malignancies: Experience at two comprehensive cancer centers

Diana Vilar-Compte, Dimpy P. Shah, Jakapat Vanichanan, Patricia Cornejo-Juarez, Alejandro Garcia-Horton, Patricia Volkow, Roy F. Chemaly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The burden of influenza infections in patients with hematological malignancies (HMs) is not well defined. We describe the clinical presentation and associated outcomes of influenza at two comprehensive cancer centers (center 1 in the United States and center 2 in Mexico). Clinical and laboratory data on patients with HMs and influenza infection diagnosed from April 2009 to May 2014 at the two centers were reviewed retrospectively. A total of 190 patients were included, the majority were male (63%) with a median age of 49 years (range, 1-88 years), and had active or refractory HMs (76%). Compared to center 1, patients in center 2 were significantly sicker (active cancer, decreased albumin levels, elevated creatinine levels, or hypoxia at influenza diagnosis) and experienced higher lower respiratory tract infection (LRI) rate (42% vs 7%; P < 0.001). In multivariable logistic regression analysis (odds ratio, 95% confidence interval), leukemia, (3.09, 1.23-7.70), decreased albumin level (3.78, 1.55-9.20), hypoxia at diagnosis (14.98, 3.30-67.90), respiratory co-infection (5.87, 1.65-20.86), and corticosteroid use (2.71, 1.03-7.15) were significantly associated with LRI; and elevated creatinine level (3.33, 1.05-10.56), hypoxia at diagnosis (5.87, 1.12-30.77), and respiratory co-infection (6.30, 1.55-25.67) were significantly associated with 60 day mortality in both centers. HM patients with influenza are at high risk for serious complications such as LRI and death, especially if they are immunosuppressed. Patients with respiratory symptoms should seek prompt medical care during influenza season.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)50-60
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Medical Virology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • H1N1
  • cancer
  • influenza
  • leukemia
  • lymphoma
  • myeloma
  • pneumonia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


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