Broad spectrum antibiotics and risk of graft-versus-host disease in pediatric patients transplanted for acute leukemia: association of carbapenem use with risk of acute GVHD.
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<p>Variation in the gastrointestinal microbiota after hematopoietic cell transplantation has been associated with acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD). Because antibiotics induce dysbiosis, we examined the association of broad-spectrum antibiotics with subsequent aGVHD-risk in pediatric patients transplanted for acute leukemia. We performed a retrospective analysis in a dataset merged from two sources: (1) Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research, an observational transplant registry, and (2) Pediatric Health Information Services, an administrative database from freestanding children's hospitals. We captured exposure to three classes of antibiotics used for empiric treatment of febrile neutropenia: (1) broad-spectrum cephalosporins, (2) anti-pseudomonal penicillins and (3) carbapenems. The primary outcome was grade 2-4 aGVHD; secondary outcomes were grade 3-4 aGVHD and lower gastrointestinal (GI) GVHD. The adjusted logistic regression model (full cohort) and time-to-event analysis (sub-cohort) included transplant characteristics, GVHD-risk factors, and adjunctive antibiotic exposures as covariates. The full cohort included 2,550 patients at 36 centers; the sub-cohort included 1,174 patients. In adjusted models, carbapenems were associated with an increased risk of grade 2-4 aGVHD in the full cohort (aOR 1.24, 95%CI 1.02-1.51) and sub-cohort (subHR 1.31, 95%CI 0.99-1.72), as well as with an increased risk of grade 3-4 aGVHD (subHR 1.77, 95%CI 1.25-2.52). Early carbapenem exposure (prior to day 0) especially impacted aGVHD-risk. For antipseudomonal penicillins the associations with aGVHD were in the direction of increased risk but were not statistically significant. There was no identified association between broad-spectrum cephalosporins and aGVHD. Carbapenems, more than other broad spectrum antibiotics, should be used judiciously in pediatric transplant patients to minimize aGVHD-risk. Further research is needed to clarify the mechanism underlying this association.</p>
Transplant Cell Ther