ISSN: 0034-8376
eISSN: 2564-8896



Infectious Complications as a Predictor of Mortality in Patients with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Receiving Rituximab- Containing Chemotherapy



Patricia Meza-Meneses, Department of Infectious Diseases, Hospital Regional de Alta Especialidad de Ixtapaluca, Edo. de México, Mexico
Patricia Cornejo-Juárez, Department of Infectious Diseases, Instituto Nacional de Cancerología (INCan), Mexico City, Mexico
Diana Vilar-Compte, Department of Infectious Diseases, Instituto Nacional de Cancerología, Mexico City, México
Patricia Volkow-Fernández, Department of Infectious Diseases, Instituto Nacional de Cancerología (INCan), Mexico City, Mexico


Background: Rituximab is a monoclonal antibody that increases the disease-free and overall survival of patients with non- Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) CD20+. The objective of this study is to describe the prevalence and spectrum of infections in patients with NHL receiving rituximab-containing chemotherapy and the impact on survival. Materials and Methods: From January 2011 to December 2012, all patients diagnosed with NHL who received at least one dose of rituximab were included. Results: During the study period, 265 patients received rituximab; 108 (40.8%) males; the mean age was 60 ± 15 years. There were 177 infections in 85 patients, being the most common febrile neutropenia (n = 38; 21.5%) and mucosal barrier injury-related infections (n = 28; 15.8%). In 88 events (49%), there was a microbiologic diagnosis, being bacterial infection the most frequent (39.6%), but tuberculosis (TB) was developed in 4 cases (1.5%; incidence rate 721/100,000 person-year). During follow-up, 71 patients died (27%); in 35 cases, it was related to infection. There were no differences in follow-up between those who died due to infection versus those who died from another cause (p = 0.188). Multivariate analysis for mortality showed that age >60 years, failure to achieve a complete response, and development of an infectious complication increased the risk of death. Conclusions: It is important to perform a screening test for TB in all patients who will receive rituximab and maintain a constant monitoring to detect an infectious process and begin treatment as soon as possible. (REV INVEST CLIN. 2019;71:275-82)



Keywords: Rituximab. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Infection. Tuberculosis.