Clinical Characteristics and Outcomes of COVID-19 in Turkish Patients with Hematological Malignancies

Çivriz Bozdağ S., Cengiz Seval G., Yonal-Hindilerden İ., Hindilerden F., Andıç N., Baydar M., ...More

Turkish journal of haematology : official journal of Turkish Society of Haematology, vol.39, no.1, pp.43-54, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier identifier


Objective: Patients with solid malignancies are more vulnerable to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection than the healthy population. The outcome of SARS-CoV-2 infection in highly immunosuppressed populations, such as in patients with hematological malignancies, is a point of interest. We aimed to analyze the symptoms, complications, intensive care unit admissions, and mortality rates of patients with hematological malignancies infected with SARS-CoV-2 in Turkey. Materials and Methods: In this multicenter study, we included 340 adult and pediatric patients diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 from March to November 2020. Diagnosis and status of primary disease, treatment schedules for hematological malignancies, time from last treatment, life expectancy related to the hematological disease, and comorbidities were recorded, together with data regarding symptoms, treatment, and outcome of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Results: Forty four patients were asymptomatic at diagnosis of SARSCoV-2 infection. Among symptomatic patients, fever, cough, and dyspnea were observed in 62.6%, 48.8%, and 41.8%, respectively. Sixtynine (20%) patients had mild SARS-CoV-2 disease, whereas moderate, severe, and critical disease was reported in 101 (29%), 71 (20%), and 55 (16%) patients, respectively. Of the entire cohort, 251 (73.8%) patients were hospitalized for SARS-CoV-2. Mortality related to SARS-CoV-2 infection was 26.5% in the entire cohort; this comprised 4.4% of those patients with mild disease, 12.4% of those with moderate disease, and 83% of those with severe or critical disease. Active hematological disease, lower life expectancy related to primary hematological disease, neutropenia at diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2, ICU admission, and first-line therapy used for coronavirus disease-2019 treatment were found to be related to higher mortality rates. Treatments with hydroxychloroquine alone or in combination with azithromycin were associated with a higher rate of mortality in comparison to favipiravir use. Conclusion: Patients with hematological malignancy infected with SARS-CoV-2 have an increased risk of severe disease and mortality.