Journal Article

Routine Cultures of Bone Marrow and Peripheral Stem Cell Harvests: Clinical Impact, Cost Analysis, and Review

Rana M. Nasser, Ihab Hajjar, Linda M. Sandhaus, Geraldine S. Hall, Robin K. Avery, Brian J. Bolwell, David L. Longworth and Karim A. Adal

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 27, issue 4, pages 886-888
Published in print October 1998 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online October 1998 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/514956
Routine Cultures of Bone Marrow and Peripheral Stem Cell Harvests: Clinical Impact, Cost Analysis, and Review

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The American Association of Blood Banks requires routine culture of hematopoietic progenitor cells prior to bone marrow transplantation. We sought to evaluate the cost of that requirement and the incidence and clinical significance of positive cultures. We performed a retrospective analysis of transplant recipients at our institution. Of the 605 patients for whom 1,934 consecutive cultures of harvests were done between December 1992 and February 1996, 11 had positive cultures. Six patients received a culture-positive harvest with no adverse effects. The total cost of cultures was $35,660 (U.S. $). In North America and worldwide in 1995, routine culture of harvests would have prevented 7.9 and 18.9 cases of bacteremia, respectively, at a cost of $95,000 per bacteremia prevented. We conclude that routine culture of hematopoietic progenitor cells yields low rates of positivity and that infusion of contaminated harvests rarely results in clinically adverse outcomes.

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Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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