COVID-19 infection in adult patients with hematological malignancies: a European Hematology Association Survey (EPICOVIDEHA)

EPICOVIDEHA working group, Livio Pagano, Jon Salmanton-García, Francesco Marchesi, Alessandro Busca, Paolo Corradini, Martin Hoenigl, Nikolai Klimko, Philipp Koehler, Antonio Pagliuca, Francesco Passamonti, Luisa Verga, Benjamin Víšek, Osman Ilhan, Gianpaolo Nadali, Barbora Weinbergerová, Raúl Córdoba-Mascuñano, Monia Marchetti, Graham P. Collins, Francesca FarinaChiara Cattaneo, Alba Cabirta, Maria Gomes-Silva, Federico Itri, Jaap van Doesum, Marie Pierre Ledoux, Martin Čerňan, Ozren Jakšić, Rafael F. Duarte, Gabriele Magliano, Ali S. Omrani, Nicola S. Fracchiolla, Austin Kulasekararaj, Toni Valković, Christian Bjørn Poulsen, Marina Machado, Andreas Glenthøj, Igor Stoma, Zdeněk Ráčil, Klára Piukovics, Milan Navrátil, Ziad Emarah, Uluhan Sili, Johan Maertens, Ola Blennow, Rui Bergantim, Carolina García-Vidal, Anna Guidetti, Fabio Ciceri, Alessio Maria Edoardo Maraglino, Fabio Guolo, Mariarita Sciumè, et al

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Patients with hematological malignancies (HM) are at high risk of mortality from SARS-CoV-2 disease 2019 (COVID-19). A better understanding of risk factors for adverse outcomes may improve clinical management in these patients. We therefore studied baseline characteristics of HM patients developing COVID-19 and analyzed predictors of mortality. Methods: The survey was supported by the Scientific Working Group Infection in Hematology of the European Hematology Association (EHA). Eligible for the analysis were adult patients with HM and laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 observed between March and December 2020. Results: The study sample includes 3801 cases, represented by lymphoproliferative (mainly non-Hodgkin lymphoma n = 1084, myeloma n = 684 and chronic lymphoid leukemia n = 474) and myeloproliferative malignancies (mainly acute myeloid leukemia n = 497 and myelodysplastic syndromes n = 279). Severe/critical COVID-19 was observed in 63.8% of patients (n = 2425). Overall, 2778 (73.1%) of the patients were hospitalized, 689 (18.1%) of whom were admitted to intensive care units (ICUs). Overall, 1185 patients (31.2%) died. The primary cause of death was COVID-19 in 688 patients (58.1%), HM in 173 patients (14.6%), and a combination of both COVID-19 and progressing HM in 155 patients (13.1%). Highest mortality was observed in acute myeloid leukemia (199/497, 40%) and myelodysplastic syndromes (118/279, 42.3%). The mortality rate significantly decreased between the first COVID-19 wave (March–May 2020) and the second wave (October–December 2020) (581/1427, 40.7% vs. 439/1773, 24.8%, p value < 0.0001). In the multivariable analysis, age, active malignancy, chronic cardiac disease, liver disease, renal impairment, smoking history, and ICU stay correlated with mortality. Acute myeloid leukemia was a higher mortality risk than lymphoproliferative diseases. Conclusions: This survey confirms that COVID-19 patients with HM are at high risk of lethal complications. However, improved COVID-19 prevention has reduced mortality despite an increase in the number of reported cases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number168
JournalJournal of Hematology and Oncology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • COVID-19
  • EHA
  • Epidemiology
  • Hematological malignancies
  • Pandemic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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