Influenza A/H1N1 in pediatric oncology patients

Amit Dotan, Shalom Ben-Shimol, Yariv Fruchtman, Yonat Avni-Shemer, Joseph Kapelushnik, Miri Ben-Harush, Noga Givon-Lavi, Eugene Leibovitz, David Greenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Our aim was to determine the clinical and epidemiological features of pandemic influenza A/H1N1 in immunocompromised children with solid tumors and hematological malignancies. PATIENTS AND METHODS: A prospective study was conducted during the H1N1 pandemic between August 2009 and February 2010 in a pediatric hematology-oncology unit. Demographic and clinical data were obtained from all children with suspected H1N1 infection (high fever with or without respiratory symptoms). Laboratory diagnosis of influenza A/H1N1 was performed by means of polymerase chain reaction analysis of nasopharyngeal wash specimens. RESULTS: We identified 57 episodes of suspected influenza A/H1N1 infection in 40 children. In all episodes, children were treated with oseltamivir and antibiotics until influenza A/H1N1 results were received. Of all episodes, 13 (22.8%) tested positive for influenza A/H1N1. Two of the H1N1-positive children (15.4%) had been previously immunized against influenza A/H1N1. No differences between H1N1-positive and H1N1-negative children were noted in terms of demographic features, clinical presentation, laboratory findings, and underlying disease.Three polymerase chain reaction-positive (23.0%) children and 1 H1N1-negative (2.3%) child were admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit and were mechanically ventilated (P=0.03). One (7.7%) H1N1-positive patient died versus none of the H1N1-negative patients (P=0.2). The condition of all other children in both the groups improved rapidly during hospitalization. CONCLUSIONS: Febrile hospitalized pediatric oncology patients, with and without pandemic influenza A/H1N1, had a similar demographic and clinical presentation with a relatively good outcome. This was probably because of early antiviral treatment and possibly because of the relatively low virulence of the virus. Immunization should be encouraged in these patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e271-e274
JournalJournal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • H1N1
  • influenza
  • oncology children


Dive into the research topics of 'Influenza A/H1N1 in pediatric oncology patients'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this