Background: Lymphoproliferative disorders are frequently diagnosed in HIV-positive
patients and severe infections may occur during antineoplastic treatments: the incidence and impact
of such events are not well-characterized.
Objective: To describe the occurrence and mortality of incident infections in HIV-positive individuals
treated for lymphoproliferative disorders.
Methods: A retrospective study in HIV-positive adults with lymphoproliferative disorders (2000-
2012) who were hospitalised to receive antineoplastic chemotherapy; antimicrobial prophylaxis
with alternate day co-trimoxazole (800/160 mg) was administered to all individuals.
Results: 103 patients were included: mostly males (81, 78.6%), Caucasians (101, 98.1%), with a
median age of 43 years (39-51). Fifty-eight (56.3%) patients had non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL),
thirty-two (29.1%) had Hodgkin’s lymphoma (HL) and ten patients (9.7%) had Burkitt’s lymphoma
(BL). Five year survival was 63.1%: the best survival rates were reported in HL (78.1%), followed
by NHL (58.6%) and BL (50%). Forty-four patients (42.7%) developed 82 infections during follow
up: identified causative agents were bacteria (35, 42.7%), viruses (28, 34.1%), mycobacteria (7,
8.5%), protozoa (7, 8.5%) and fungi (5, 6.1%). Cytomegalovirus infections (n=17, including 5 endorgan
diseases) emerged 53 days after the diagnosis: multivariate analysis showed CD4+ cell count
<100/uL as the only independently associated factor (p<0.001, aOR=23.5). Two factors were associated
with mortality risk: an IPI/IPS-score of >2 (p=0.004, aOR=6.55) and the presence of CMV
disease (p=0.032, aOR=2.73).
Conclusion: HIV positive patients receiving treatment for lymphoproliferative disorders suffer
from a high incidence of infections and associated mortality risk. Tailored prophylactic strategies
need to be considered in this setting.