Alveolar hemorrhage (AH) is a frequent, serious complication of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). To study the incidence of AH, its clinical course and outcomes in HSCT patients, a retrospective review of the records of all adult patients who underwent bronchoscopy between January 1, 2002 and December 31, 2004 was carried out and those who underwent bronchoscopy after HSCT identified. A total of 223 patients underwent bronchoscopy after HSCT for diffuse pulmonary infiltrates with respiratory compromise. Eighty-seven (39%) patients had AH. Of these, 53 had AH without any identified organism while 34 had an organism along with hemorrhage on bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL). Six-month survival rate of patients with AH was 38% (95% confidence interval: 27-48%). In 95 of the 223 patients, an organism was isolated from BAL. These patients had poor outcomes compared to patients in whom no organism was identified. Patients with both AH and an organism had the worst prognosis. Mortality of patients with AH is improving and long-term survival of patients with AH is feasible. Isolation of a microbial organism in BAL is a strong predictor of poor outcome.
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