Infection with human T-cell leukemia virus type I in patients with leukemia
Among 211 adults with leukemia who received multiple transfusions, 6 were found to be seropositive for human T-cell leukemia virus Type I (HTLV-I). Before the positive serum specimens were obtained, these patients received a mean of 14 units of red cells and 78 units of platelets. Seroconversion could be documented in three patients. None of the 6 patients seropositive for HTLV-I had a T-cell leukemia, other illnesses attributable to HTLV-I infection, or risk factors for HTLV-I infection other than transfusion: none were seropositive for human immunodeficiency virus. Patients with leukemia who receive multiple transfusions appear to be at risk for HTLV-I infection.