Surveillance cultures in bone marrow transplant recipients: Worthwhile or wasteful?

D. K. Riley, A. T. Pavia, P. G. Beatty, D. Denton, K. C. Carroll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


A prospective study of the value of surveillance cultures was performed in a bone marrow transplant (BMT) unit among 48 consecutive patients. All patients were admitted to laminar airflow or high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtered rooms, maintained on reduced microbial diets and received oral non-absorbable antibiotics. With the onset of neutropenia, all patients received imipenem/cilastatin and 17 patients received low-dose amphotericin B 0.1 mg/kg/day. Pre-transplant and weekly post-transplant cultures of the stool, throat and urine were obtained on all patients. Nasal and vaginal cultures were performed on 26 patients. Sixteen patients developed 23 documented infections. The sensitivity of surveillance cultures for all infections was 38%, specificity 25%, positive predictive value 20% and negative predictive value 44%. When stratified by organisms, the sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value were: Gram positive infections, 33%, 36%, 11%,70%; Gram negative infections, 17%, 88%, 17%, 88%; fungal infections 37%, 50%, 11%, 75%; and Candida albicans, 100%, 57%, 14%, 100%. These data suggest that surveillance cultures may be useful to exclude C. albicans infections but are of limited value in predicting other types of infections in recipients of BMT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)469-473
Number of pages5
JournalBone marrow transplantation
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Surveillance cultures
  • Transplantation
  • Worth-while?

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Transplantation


Dive into the research topics of 'Surveillance cultures in bone marrow transplant recipients: Worthwhile or wasteful?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this