Functional hyposplenism after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation

J. Rozmus, K. Mallhi, J. Ke, K. R. Schultz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Functional hyposplenism is associated with chronic GvHD (cGvHD) following hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). We hypothesized that hyposplenism measured by pitted red cell counts in cGvHD was transient and related to the severity of disease. We performed a serial, retrospective review of 36 pediatric post-HSCT patients' pit counts at BC Children's Hospital from 2005 to 2013 and compared those counts with the clinical course of patients with late acute GvHD (aGvHD)/cGvHD. Of the 36 patients, 22 had late aGvHD/cGvHD based on National Institutes of Health consensus criteria. Fourteen of 22 GvHD patients had an abnormal pitted red cell count. Ten of 14 abnormal patients had late acute or overlap GvHD syndrome, primarily gastrointestinal disease. A second cohort was prospectively evaluated in a multicenter adult HSCT biomarker trial. We identified 3 out of 10 control patients who had an abnormal pitted red cell count, 3 out of 10 with classic cGvHD and 5 out of 9 patients with overlap syndrome were abnormal. In both the retrospective and prospective studies, hyposplenism was present in patients without late aGvHD/cGvHD suggesting current guidelines regarding antibiotic prophylaxis against encapsulated bacteria after HSCT need to be re-addressed and abnormal pit counts could be used to guide prophylaxis in all HSCT patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1343-1347
Number of pages5
JournalBone marrow transplantation
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was funded by CIHR: ‘Biomarkers for Chronic Graft-Versus-Host Disease’.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited.


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