Tuberculosis in bone marrow transplant recipients: report of two cases and review of the literature

Bone Marrow Transplant. 1996 Oct;18(4):809-12.


Over a 6 year period we have seen two cases of tuberculosis among 118 allogeneic and 237 autologous bone marrow (BMT) or peripheral blood transplants. Both patients had received an HLA-identical related allogeneic BMT. The first case suffered from extensive chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) and developed pulmonary tuberculosis 19 months after BMT. An open-lung biopsy was required to establish the diagnosis, and response to antituberculosis agents was complete, with no relapse at 49 months post-BMT. The second patient received a CD4+ T lymphocyte-depleted BMT, was receiving steroids for acute GVHD and developed rapid-onset meningeal tuberculosis on day +107 post-BMT. Despite initial severe neurologic deterioration, response to antituberculosis agents was good, and she remains alive and well 11 months from BMT. Review of the scant literature on this topic reveals that this is a relatively rare infection in BMT recipients despite their often severely immunosuppressed condition, occurring mainly in recipients of T cell-depleted allogeneic grafts or those who develop GVHD.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bone Marrow Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Bone Marrow Transplantation / immunology
  • Female
  • Graft vs Host Disease / complications
  • Humans
  • Immunocompromised Host
  • Leukemia, Myelogenous, Chronic, BCR-ABL Positive / therapy
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute / therapy
  • Lymphocyte Depletion
  • Male
  • Opportunistic Infections / etiology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Transplantation, Homologous
  • Tuberculosis, Meningeal / etiology*
  • Tuberculosis, Pulmonary / etiology*