Retrospective analysis of 206 patients undergoing 215 consecutive bone marrow transplants (BMT) at St Jude Children's Research Hospital between November 1990 and December 1994 identified 6% (seven male, six female) with adenovirus infection. The affected patients had a median age of 7.9 years (range 3-24 years) at time of transplantation. Although transplants were performed for hematologic malignancies, solid tumors or nonmalignant conditions, only patients with hematologic malignancies had adenoviral infections. Adenovirus was first detected at a median of 54 days (range -4 to +333) after BMT. Adenovirus developed in eight of 69 (11.6%) patients receiving grafts from matched unrelated or mismatched related donors, in four of 52 (7.7%) receiving grafts from HLA-matched siblings, and in one of 93 (1.1%) receiving autografts. The most common manifestation of adenovirus infection was hemorrhagic cystitis, followed by gastroenteritis, pneumonitis and liver failure. The incidence of adenovirus infection in pediatric BMT patients at our institution is similar to that reported in adult patients. Using univariate analysis, use of total body irradiation and type of bone marrow graft were significant risk factors for adenovirus infection. Only use of total body irradiation remained as a factor on multiple logistic regression analysis.