HHV-6 may be the cause of “fever of unknown origin” in 30% of stem cell transplant (SCT) patients. By the third week after SCT, 70% of HHV-6 positive patients had a skin rash, compared to 39% of HHV-6 negative patients.
A group from Sapporo Medical University studied 105 post HSCT patients and determined that 7 developed CNS dysfunction in the first 42 days after transplant. Six out of the 7 were positive for HHV-6, but none of the other 12 pathogens tested. Four or 3.8% of the population were diagnosed with HHV-6 encephalitis.
A large-scale multiplex PCR assay developed by a team in Japan was used to study 13 DNA viruses in 105 allogenic hematopoietic stem cell transplant patients. They found that patients treated with steroids had a significantly higher risk of HHV-6 reactivation (p=0.027), and that HHV-6 was the only virus tied to the onset of acute GVHD (p=0.016).
HHV-6 reactivation before engraftment strongly predictive of graft failure
A group from Tokyo Medical University has determined that low level HHV-6 reactivation, but not CMV, EBV or HHV-7 reactivation, is a predictive marker for the development of grade 2-4 acute GVHD after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT).
Study links HHV-6 reactivation to increasingly poor outcome following myeloablative HSCT
HHV-6 detection associated with increasingly poor outcome for stem cell transplant patients.