Routine testing for respiratory viruses before hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) is reasonable in symptomatic patients and transplantation should be delayed when possible, according to recent data.

On average, the patients diagnosed with respiratory viruses before HCT spent 8 fewer days alive and out of the hospital than those with no respiratory viruses before HCT. Overall mortality at day 100 was higher in patients with pre-HCT respiratory viruses.

“Current clinical practice guidelines regarding timing of transplantation if respiratory viruses are present are largely based on expert opinion,” the researchers wrote in Clinical Infectious Diseases. “Our study provides evidence that current recommendations regarding delaying transplantation for symptomatic respiratory infections are justified.”