This is a review of the epidemiology and management of infectious complications in contemporary management of chronic leukemias. Patients with chronic leukemias typically are affected by nuisance infections due to the underlying hematologic condition, particularly hypogammaglobulinemia in CLL patients. With active treatment, particularly those agents that cause defects in cell-mediated immunity, the incidence of opportunistic infections increases although endogenous bacterial, mycobacterial, and fungal infections also occur. Exogenous treatment with immunoglobulin and antimicrobial prophylaxis, particularly anti-Pneumocystis prophylaxis, may be indicated in select patients. Routine vaccinations should be maintained in these patients and vaccination early in the course of treatment may result in improve protection.
Keywords: Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), chronic granulocytic leukemia (CGL), chronic lymphoid leukemia (CLL), hypogammaglobulinemia, opportunistic infection, Pneumocystis, anti-Pneumocystis prophylaxis, B-cell chronic, white blood cells, alkylating, prednisone, rituximab, alemtuzumab, hairy cell leukemia, neutropenia, monocytopenia, T-cell dysfunction, Sweet's syndrome, chronic myelogenous, myeloid, stem cells, chronic granulocytic leukemia, Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell, mycobacteria, Aspergillus, legionellosis, salmonellosis, toxoplasmosis, listeriosis, Listeria, Pas-teurella multocida tracheobronchitis, Toxoplasma cyst, Cryptococcus, Chlamydophila psittaci