Chemotherapy-induced mucositis increases the risk of blood stream infections (BSI) due to translocation of bacteria across the intestinal epithelium. Our study investigated if quantitative measures of intestinal mucositis severity, including plasma citrulline (a marker of functional enterocytes) and CCL20 (an intestinal immune homeostatic chemokine), could identify patients at risk of BSI. A total of 106 children with ALL undergoing induction treatment (NOPHO ALL 2008) were included and information regarding BSI episodes was collected from the patients' medical records. Twenty-seven patients (25%) developed BSI during induction. Patients with BSI had a larger decrease in citrulline after chemotherapy than patients without BSI, and nearly all BSI episodes (25/27) occurred in the group of patients exhibiting a drop in citrulline (OR = 6.4 [95% CI: 1.4-29.3], P = .008). Patients who developed BSI had higher plasma CCL20 levels on days 8, 15 and 22 than patients without BSI (all P < .05), and elevated CCL20 levels on day 8 increased the risk of subsequent BSI (OR = 1.57 [1.11-2.22] per doubling of CCL20 level, P = .01) in a multivariable logistic regression analysis. These findings suggest that children with ALL who develop BSI during chemotherapy are characterised by more severe intestinal mucositis, as measured by plasma citrulline and CCL20. These markers may be useful in early risk stratification to guide treatment decisions.
- Mucositis/chemically induced
- Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma/drug therapy
- Risk Factors