Publications by authors named "Irene Donnini"

9 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Intercontinental study on pre-engraftment and post-engraftment Gram-negative rods bacteremia in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation patients: Risk factors and association with mortality.

J Infect 2020 12 10;81(6):882-894. Epub 2020 Nov 10.

ICO-Hospital Universitari Germans Trias I Pujol, Badalona, Spain. Electronic address:

Objectives: We present here data on Gram-negative rods bacteremia (GNRB) rates, risk factors and associated mortality.

Methods: Data on GNRB episodes were prospectively collected in 65 allo-/67 auto-HSCT centers in 24 countries (Europe, Asia, Australia). In patients with and without GNRB, we compared: demography, underlying disease, HSCT-related data, center` fluoroquinolone prophylaxis (FQP) policy and accreditation status, and involvement of infection control team (ICT).

Results: The GNRB cumulative incidence among 2818 allo-HSCT was: pre-engraftment (pre-eng-allo-HSCT), 8.4 (95% CI 7-9%), post-engraftment (post-eng-allo-HSCT), 5.8% (95%CI: 5-7%); among 3152 auto-HSCT, pre-eng-auto-HSCT, 6.6% (95%CI: 6-7%), post-eng-auto-HSCT, 0.7% (95%CI: 0.4-1.1%). GNRB, especially MDR, was associated with increased mortality. Multivariate analysis revealed the following GNRB risk factors: (a) pre-eng-allo-HSCT: south-eastern Europe center location, underlying diseases not at complete remission, and cord blood source; (b) post-eng-allo-HSCT: center location not in northwestern Europe; underlying non-malignant disease, not providing FQP and never accredited. (c) pre-eng-auto-HSCT: older age, autoimmune and malignant (vs. plasma cell) disease, and ICT absence.

Conclusions: Benefit of FQP should be explored in prospective studies. Increased GNRB risk in auto-HSCT patients transplanted for autoimmune diseases is worrying. Infection control and being accredited are possibly protective against bacteremia. GNRB are associated with increased mortality.
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December 2020

Antiemetic prophylaxis in patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation: a multicenter survey of the Gruppo Italiano Trapianto Midollo Osseo (GITMO) transplant programs.

Ann Hematol 2020 Apr 8;99(4):867-875. Epub 2020 Feb 8.

SODc Terapie Cellulari e Medicina Trasfusionale, AOU Careggi, Florence, Italy.

A survey within hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) centers of the Gruppo Italiano Trapianto Midollo Osseo (GITMO) was performed in order to describe current antiemetic prophylaxis in patients undergoing HSCT. The multicenter survey was performed by a questionnaire, covering the main areas on chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV): antiemetic prophylaxis guidelines used, antiemetic prophylaxis in different conditioning regimens, and methods of CINV evaluation. The survey was carried out in November 2016, and it was repeated 6 months after the publication of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer (MASCC)/European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) specific guidelines on antiemetic prophylaxis in HSCT. The results show a remarkable heterogeneity of prophylaxis among the various centers and a significant difference between the guidelines and the clinical practice. In the main conditioning regimens, the combination of a serotonin receptor antagonist (5-HT-RA) with dexamethasone and neurokin receptor antagonist (NK1-RA), as recommended by MASCC/ESMO guidelines, increased from 0 to 15% (before the publication of the guidelines) to 9-30% (after the publication of the guidelines). This study shows a lack of compliance with specific antiemetic guidelines, resulting mainly in under-prophylaxis. Concerted strategies are required to improve the current CINV prophylaxis, to draft shared common guidelines, and to increase the knowledge and the adherence to the current recommendations for CINV prophylaxis in the specific field of HSCT.
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April 2020

Late-Onset Hepatic Veno-Occlusive Disease after Allografting: Report of Two Cases with Atypical Clinical Features Successfully Treated with Defibrotide.

Mediterr J Hematol Infect Dis 2018 1;10(1):e2018001. Epub 2018 Jan 1.

A.O.U. Città della Salute e della Scienza di Torino, Dipartimento di Oncologia, SSD Trapianto allogenico di cellule staminali, Torino, Italy.

Hepatic Veno-Occlusive Disease (VOD) is a potentially severe complication of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Here we report two patients receiving an allogeneic HSCT who developed late onset VOD with atypical clinical features. The two patients presented with only few risk factors, namely, advanced acute leukemia, a myeloablative busulphan-containing regimen and received grafts from an unrelated donor. The first patient did not experience painful hepatomegaly and weight gain and both patients showed only a mild elevation in total serum bilirubin level. Most importantly, the two patients developed clinical signs beyond day 21 post-HSCT. Hepatic transjugular biopsy confirmed the diagnosis of VOD. Intravenous defibrotide was promptly started leading to a marked clinical improvement. Based on our experience, liver biopsy may represent a useful diagnostic tool when the clinical features of VOD are ambiguous. Early therapeutic intervention with defibrotide represents a crucial issue for the successful outcome of patients with VOD.
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January 2018

Antimicrobial Resistance in Gram-Negative Rods Causing Bacteremia in Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant Recipients: Intercontinental Prospective Study of the Infectious Diseases Working Party of the European Bone Marrow Transplantation Group.

Clin Infect Dis 2017 Nov;65(11):1819-1828

University of Münster, Germany.

Background: This intercontinental study aimed to study gram-negative rod (GNR) resistance in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT).

Methods: GNR bacteremias occurring during 6 months post-HSCT (February 2014-May 2015) were prospectively collected, and analyzed for rates and risk factors for resistance to fluoroquinolones, noncarbapenem anti-Pseudomonas β-lactams (noncarbapenems), carbapenems, and multidrug resistance.

Results: Sixty-five HSCT centers from 25 countries in Europe, Australia, and Asia reported data on 655 GNR episodes and 704 pathogens in 591 patients (Enterobacteriaceae, 73%; nonfermentative rods, 24%; and 3% others). Half of GNRs were fluoroquinolone and noncarbapenem resistant; 18.5% carbapenem resistant; 35.2% multidrug resistant. The total resistance rates were higher in allogeneic HSCT (allo-HSCT) vs autologous HSCT (auto-HSCT) patients (P < .001) but similar in community-acquired infections. Noncarbapenem resistance and multidrug resistance were higher in auto-HSCT patients in centers providing vs not providing fluoroquinolone prophylaxis (P < .01). Resistance rates were higher in southeast vs northwest Europe and similar in children and adults, excluding higher fluoroquinolone- and β-lactam/β-lactamase inhibitor resistance rates in allo-HSCT adults. Non-Klebsiella Enterobacteriaceae were rarely carbapenem resistant. Multivariable analysis revealed resistance risk factors in allo-HSCT patients: fluoroquinolone resistance: adult, prolonged neutropenia, breakthrough on fluoroquinolones; noncarbapenem resistance: hospital-acquired infection, breakthrough on noncarbapenems or other antibiotics (excluding fluoroquinolones, noncarbapenems, carbapenems), donor type; carbapenem resistance: breakthrough on carbapenem, longer hospitalization, intensive care unit, previous other antibiotic therapy; multidrug resistance: longer hospitalization, breakthrough on β-lactam/β-lactamase inhibitors, and carbapenems. Inappropriate empiric therapy and mortality were significantly more common in infections caused by resistant bacteria.

Conclusions: Our data question the recommendation for fluoroquinolone prophylaxis and call for reassessment of local empiric antibiotic protocols. Knowledge of pathogen-specific resistance enables early appropriate empiric therapy. Monitoring of resistance is crucial.

Clinical Trials Registration: NCT02257931.
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November 2017

Extracorporeal Photopheresis for Treatment of Acute and Chronic Graft Versus Host Disease: An Italian Multicentric Retrospective Analysis on 94 Patients on Behalf of the Gruppo Italiano Trapianto di Midollo Osseo.

Transplantation 2016 Dec;100(12):e147-e155

1 Hematology, Bone Marrow Transplantation Unit, Department of Clinical and Experimental Sciences, University of Brescia, Italy. 2 Immunohematology and Transfusion Medicine Unit, AO Spedali Cvili, Brescia, Italy. 3 SODc Terapia Cellulare e Medicina Trasfusionale, AOU Careggi, Firenze, Italy. 4 Divisione di Ematologia, Fondazione Policlinico Universitario Agostino Gemelli, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Roma, Italy. 5 SC Ematologia, Istituto Nazionale Tumori, Milano, Italy. 6 Clinica Ematologica e Unità di terapie Cellulari, DISM, Università di Udine, Italy. 7 Centro di Ricerca Emato-oncologica AIL (CREA) Brescia, AO Spedali Civili di Brescia, Italy. 8 Unità di Cellule Staminali, Istituto Europeo di Oncologia, Milano, Italy. 9 Medicina Trasfusionale, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria di Udine, Italy. 10 UO di Emotrasfusione, Fondazione Policlinico Universitario Agostino Gemelli, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Roma, Italy. 11 Bone Marrow Transplant Unit SODc Ematologia, AOU Careggi, Firenze, Italy.

Background: Extracorporeal photopheresis (ECP) is considered a valid second-line treatment for acute and chronic graft versus host disease (GVHD).

Methods: Ninety-four patients with acute GVHD (aGVHD) (n = 45) and chronic GVHD (cGVHD) (n = 49), retrospectively recruited in 6 Italian centers, were submitted to ECP for second-line treatment. At the time of ECP, 22 (49%) and 23 (51%) of 45 patients with aGHVD were nonresponsive and in partial remission (PR) after steroids, respectively, and all the 49 patients with cGVHD were steroid refractory.

Results: Forty-one (91%) of 45 patients with aGVHD achieved complete remission (CR) after ECP. Fifteen (33%) of 45 patients developed cGVHD. The CR rate in patients who started ECP being nonresponsive and in PR after steroid was 86% and 96%, respectively. After a median follow-up of 20 months (range, 2-72), 15 (33%) of 45 patients developed cGHVD and 16 (35%) of 45 patients died, in 3 cases for aGVHD. A trend for a better survival was seen among patients who started ECP in PR after steroid (80% vs 50% at 2 years; P = 0.07). Overall, 22 (45%) of 49 patients and 17 (35%) of 49 patients with steroid refractory cGHVD achieved CR and PR after ECP, respectively. After a median follow-up of 27 months, 44 (90%) of 49 patients are alive, 21 of whom (48%) are on steroid.

Conclusions: Extracorporeal photopheresis is confirmed as an effective second-line treatment in both aGVHD and cGVHD, because it can induce a response in more than 80% of the patients and a long-term survival in at least 50% of the cases.
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December 2016

Fully automated, clinical-grade bone marrow processing: a single-centre experience.

Blood Transfus 2017 Oct 27;15(6):577-584. Epub 2016 Sep 27.

Cell Therapy and Transfusion Medicine Unit, Cord Blood Bank, Careggi University Hospital, Florence, Italy.

Background: Clinical grade processing of harvested bone marrow is required in various clinical situations, particularly in the management of ABO mismatching in allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) and in regenerative medicine.

Material And Methods: We report a single-centre experience using a fully automated, clinical grade, closed system (Sepax, Biosafe, Switzerland). From 2003 to 2015, 125 procedures were performed in our laboratory, including buffy-coat production for HSCT (n=58), regenerative medicine in an orthopaedic setting (n=54) and density-gradient separation in a trial for treatment of critical limb ischaemia (n=13).

Results: Buffy coat separation resulted in a median volume reduction of 85% (range, 75-87%), providing satisfactory red blood cell depletion (69%, range 30-88%) and a median recovery of CD34 cells of 96% (range, 81-134%) in the setting of allogeneic HSCT. Significantly greater volume reduction (90%; range, 90-92%) and red blood cell depletion (88%; range, 80-93%) were achieved by the new SmartRedux software released for Sepax2, validated in the last eight allogeneic HSCT. The density gradient separation programme resulted in complete red blood cell depletion associated with high CD34 recovery (69%; range, 36-124%). No reactions related to the quality of the product were reported. Time to engraftment following allogeneic HSCT was in the normal range. No cases of microbiological contamination related to the manipulation were reported.

Discussion: Clinical grade, automated bone marrow manipulation with Sepax was shown to be effective, giving operator-independent results and could be used for a broad range of clinical applications.
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October 2017

Impact of disease status on outcome in relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma treated with lenalidomide.

Leuk Lymphoma 2015 9;56(8):2388-91. Epub 2015 Feb 9.

a Hematology Department, Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria Careggi , Firenze , Italy.

The introduction of immunomodulatory drugs such as lenalidomide combined with dexamethasone (Len/Dex) has improved the outcome of patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma (RRMM). Few data are currently available which investigate whether paraprotein relapse represents an indication for starting a new treatment. The aim of our retrospective, single-center study was to analyze the impact of disease status (relapsed/refractory) and type of relapse (clinical/paraprotein) on response rate and time-to-next-treatment (TNT). We included 74 patients (median age 70 years) with RRMM treated with Len/Dex until progression or unacceptable toxicity from 2008 to 2012. Age and disease status were not factors affecting overall response rate (ORR) and median TNT, but TNT was significantly longer in patients with asymptomatic compared to clinical relapse (34 vs. 19 months, p<0.008). In conclusion, Len/Dex represents an effective treatment with satisfactory ORR and outcomes in RRMM, especially for patients starting therapy in asymptomatic relapse.
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April 2016

Immunohistochemistry analysis of bone marrow biopsies in multiple sclerosis patients undergoing autologous haematopoietic stem cells transplantation.

Clin Neurol Neurosurg 2013 Jul 5;115(7):1044-8. Epub 2012 Dec 5.

Hematology Department, Careggi University Hospital, Florence, Italy.

Objective: Recently autologous haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (AHSCT) has been introduced for the treatment of severe forms of multiple sclerosis (MS). As little data are available on bone marrow (BM) of MS patients undergoing AHSCT, we investigated the morphological and phenotypic characteristics of MS BM.

Methods: BM biopsies of 14 MS patients screened for AHSCT and 10 control patients were evaluated to assess cellularity, morphology, immunological profile and bone marrow microenvironment. Immunohistochemistry analysis was performed to evaluate the expression of CD3, CD4, CD8, CD20, CD68, CD45, MMP-9.

Results: 8 out of 14 MS (57%) patients showed a reduction of age-related bone marrow cellularity, possibly due to previous immunosuppressive therapies. There were no differences in the T CD3+ lymphocyte expression rate amongst MS and the control patients, the CD4/CD8 ratio (2:1) was maintained as was the rate of B lymphocytes. We found an increased, although not significant, MMP-9 expression (9.2%) in the bone marrow of MS patients, when compared to the control patients (6.3%).

Conclusion: The BM of MS patients showed a reduced cellularity and CD45+ cells content in comparison to the controls. A slightly increased expression of MMP-9 was also shown, possibly confirming an involvement of this compartment in the pathogenesis of the disease.
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July 2013