Infect Dis Ther. 2021 Apr 11. doi: 10.1007/s40121-021-00445-3. Online ahead of print.
INTRODUCTION: We aimed to compare the clinical characteristics and outcomes of bloodstream infections (BSI) in cancer patients presenting febrile neutropenia with and without HIV infection, and analyze the prognostic factors for mortality.
METHODS: BSI episodes in febrile neutropenic patients following chemotherapy were prospectively collected (1997-2018). A case (HIV-infected)-control (non-HIV-infected) sub-analysis was performed (1:2 ratio), matching patients by age, gender, baseline disease, and etiological microorganism.
RESULTS: From 1755 BSI episodes in neutropenic cancer patients, 60 (3.4%) occurred in those with HIV. HIV characteristics: 51.7% were men who have sex with men; 58.3% had < 200 CD4; 51.7% had a detectable HIV-1 RNA viral load before the BSI episode; 70.0% met AIDS-defining criteria; and 93.3% were on antiretroviral therapy, with a protease inhibitor-based regimen being the most common (53.0%). HIV-infected patients were younger, more frequently male and more commonly presenting chronic liver disease (p < 0.001 for all). BSI due to Enterococcus spp. was significantly more frequent among patients with HIV (p = 0.017) with no differences in other pathogens. HIV-infected patients with cancer presented with shock more frequently (p = 0.014) and had higher mortality (31.7% vs. 18.1%, p = 0.008). In the case-control analysis, cases (HIV-infected) had chronic liver disease (p = 0.003) more frequently, whereas acute leukemia (p = 0.013) and hematopoietic stem-cell transplant (p = 0.023) were more common among controls. There was a non-significant trend for cases to have higher mortality (p = 0.084). However, in multivariate analysis, HIV infection was not associated with mortality (p = 0.196).
CONCLUSION: HIV-infected patients with cancer developing febrile neutropenia and BSI have different epidemiological and clinical profiles, and experience higher mortality. However, HIV infection by itself was not associated with mortality.