Are Hematologic Patients Trojan Horse for COVID-19?

Kilicaslan E., Ozunal I. E. , Elibol T., ÖZTÜRK E.

INDIAN JOURNAL OF HEMATOLOGY AND BLOOD TRANSFUSION, 2021 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s12288-021-01498-7
  • Keywords: COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, Hematological diseases, Viral shedding, Treatment, CANCER


Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) which is caused by severe acute respiratory distress syndrome virus (SARS-CoV-2) continues to affect people all around the world. This study aimed to compare the SARS-CoV-2 viral shedding time between patients diagnosed with hematologic diseases (HD) and a control group. A total of 110 patients were enrolled in this retrospective study; 55 patients with a diagnosis of HD and 55 sex and comorbidity matched controls without a diagnosis of HD, who caught COVID-19 at the same period. Thirty-eight patients were hospitalized in each group. Viral shedding time, COVID-19 severity, need for intensive care unit support, and mortality rates were compared between groups. Median viral shedding time was 24 days in hospitalized HD patients and 12 days in the hospitalized control group (p < 0.01) as 20 days in outpatient HD patients and 10 days in the outpatient control group (p = 0.02). Viral shedding time was longer in severe + critical COVID-19 cases in the whole cohort (median 22 days in severe + critical, and 12 days in mild + moderate) (p < 0.01). Severe + critical COVID-19 was more common in the HD group than the control group (47.2% versus 25.4%, respectively) (p = 0.017). Twenty-five patients were dead in the whole cohort. One patient was in the control group and 24 patients were in the HD group, therefore the mortality rate for the HD group was 43.6%. Because of statistically significant longer viral shedding time, longer-term isolation may be necessary for hematologic patients diagnosed with COVID-19.