End-of-Life Care in Patients Undergoing Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation

Marisa M. Salazar, Lori J. Decook, Richard J. Butterfield, Nan Zhang, Ayan Sen, Kelly L. Wu, David J. Vanness, Nandita Khera

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: Patients receiving allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) have high morbidity and mortality risk, but literature is limited on factors associated with end-of-life (EOL) care intensity. Objectives: Describe EOL care in patients after allogeneic HCT and examine association of patient and clinical characteristics with intense EOL care. Design: Retrospective chart review. Setting/Subjects: A total of 113 patients who received allogeneic HCT at Mayo Clinic Arizona between 2013 and 2017 and died before November 2019. Measurements: A composite EOL care intensity measure included five markers: (1) no hospice enrollment, (2) intensive care unit (ICU) stay in the last month, (3) hospitalization >14 days in last month, (4) chemotherapy use in the last two weeks, and (5) cardiopulmonary resuscitation, hemodialysis, or mechanical ventilation in the last week of life. Multivariable logistic regression modeling assessed associations of having ≥1 intensity marker with sociodemographic and disease characteristics, palliative care consultation, and advance directive documentation. Results: Seventy-six percent of patients in our cohort had ≥1 intensity marker, with 43% receiving ICU care in the last month of life. Median hospital stay in the last month of life was 15 days. Sixty-five percent of patients died in hospice; median enrollment was 4 days. Patients with higher education were less likely to have ≥1 intensity marker (odds ratio 0.28, p = 0.02). Patients who died >100 days after HCT were less likely to have ≥1 intensity marker than patients who died ≤100 days of HCT (p = 0.04). Conclusions: Death within 100 days of HCT and lower educational attainment were associated with higher likelihood of intense EOL care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-105
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Palliative Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022


  • end of life
  • hematopoietic cell transplantation
  • intensity of health care use
  • palliative care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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