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Association between mucositis severity and vancomycin-resistant enterococcal bloodstream infection in hospitalized cancer patients


OBJECTIVE: To determine the role of mucositis severity in the development of vancomycin-resistant enterococcal (VRE) bloodstream infection (BSI).

SETTING: A tertiary-care university medical center.

PARTICIPANTS: Hematology-oncology-unit inpatients.

DESIGN: Patients with VRE BSI (case-patients) were compared with VRE-colonized (control) patients from September 1994 through August 1997. Oral mucositis severity was recorded on the day of VRE BSI for case-patients and on hospital day 22 (median day of hospitalization of case-patient VRE BSI) for controls. There were 19 case-patients and 31 controls.

RESULTS: In univariate analysis, case-patients were significantly more likely than controls to have a higher mucositis severity score, diarrhea, or a higher severity of illness score. In multivariate analysis, only mucositis remained as an independent risk factor, and increasing mucositis score was significantly associated with VRE BSI.

CONCLUSIONS: Mucositis severity was independently associated with an increasing risk for VRE BSI. Interventions to alter mucositis severity may help to prevent VRE BSI in hospitalized cancer patients.

Kuehnert MJ, Jernigan JA, Pullen AL, Rimland D, Jarvis WR

Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 1999 Oct;20(10):660-3

PMID: 10530642