• HHV-6 reactivation in plasma occurred in 6% and possible HHV-6 encephalitis in 0.2% of patients within 12 weeks after CAR-T-cell therapy.

  • HHV-6 reactivation and disease are infrequent after CAR-T-cell therapy. Routine HHV-6 monitoring is not warranted.

Human herpesvirus-6B (HHV-6B) reactivation and disease are increasingly reported after CAR-T-cell therapy (CARTx). HHV-6 reactivation in the CAR-T-cell product was recently reported, raising questions about product and patient management. Due to overlapping manifestations with immune effector cell-associated neurotoxicity syndrome, diagnosing HHV-6B encephalitis is challenging. We provide two lines of evidence assessing the incidence and outcomes of HHV-6B after CARTx. First, in a prospective study with weekly HHV-6B testing for up to 12 weeks post-infusion, HHV-6B reactivation occurred in eight of 89 participants; three had chromosomally integrated HHV-6 and were excluded, resulting in a cumulative incidence of HHV-6B reactivation of 6% (95% confidence interval (CI), 2.2-12.5%). HHV-6B detection was low level (median peak, 435 copies/mL; IQR, 164-979) and did not require therapy. Second, we retrospectively analyzed HHV-6B detection in blood and/or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) within 12 weeks post-infusion in CARTx recipients. Of 626 patients, 24 had symptom-driven plasma testing with detection in one. Among 34 patients with CSF HHV-6 testing, one patient had possible HHV-6 encephalitis for a cumulative incidence of 0.17% (95% CI, 0.02-0.94%), although symptoms improved without treatment. Our data demonstrate that HHV-6B reactivation and disease are infrequent after CARTx. Routine HHV-6 monitoring is not warranted. -

This content is only available as a PDF.
Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0), permitting only noncommercial, nonderivative use with attribution. All other rights reserved.

Article PDF first page preview

Article PDF first page preview

Supplemental data

Sign in via your Institution