Background: Human herpesvirus-6B (HHV-6B) infection after allogenic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) is known to be associated with post-transplant limbic encephalitis in adults. Meanwhile, the association between HHV-6B infection and central nervous system complications remains unclear in pediatric allo-HSCT patients. Methods: In this study, HHV-6B infection was monitored for more than 50 days after HSCT using virus isolation and real-time PCR. Clinical information such as patient background and encephalitis status was collected retrospectively from medical records. Risk factors for HHV-6B infection were determined by the Cox proportional hazards model, and the clinical features of HHV-6B encephalitis in pediatric allo-HSCT patients were elucidated. Results: Human herpesvirus-6B infection was observed in 74 (33.8%) of 219 patients at 3-47 days (median 18, interquartile range 13-20). Risk factors identified in multivariable analysis were hematological malignancy (hazards ratio [HR], 5.0; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.3/12.5; P <.0001), solid tumor (HR, 4.8; CI, 1.5/16.3; P =.0104), unrelated donor (HR, 2.1; CI, 1.0/4.6; P =.0378), and sex-mismatched donor (HR 1.8; CI, 1.1/3.0; P =.0257). HHV-6B encephalitis occurred in only one of the 219 patients (0.46%); this patient demonstrated the typical clinical course of posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome. Conclusion: Hematological malignancy, solid tumor, unrelated donor, and sex-mismatched donor were significant risk factors for HHV-6B infection after pediatric allo-HSCT. In pediatric allo-HSCT patients, the incidence of HHV-6B encephalitis was low and the clinical features differed from those in adult patients.
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