De nova chronic graft-versus-host disease presenting as hemolytic anemia following partially mismatched related donor bone marrow transplant

Academic Article


  • Chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD) is a disease of immune dysregulation that resembles an autoimmune disease. It usually involves the skin, mucosal and serosal surfaces and, less commonly, the hematopoietic system. We report hemolytic anemia (HA) as the primary manifestation of de nova cGVHD in recipients of partially mismatched related donor transplants. Five of 40 eligible patients developed HA at a median of 168 days post-transplant. Recipients were mismatched for one to three major HLA antigens. Conditioning therapy consisted of total body irradiation, etoposide, Ara-C, cyclophosphamide and steroids. GVHD prophylaxis included partial T cell depletion, using anti α/β CD3 antibody (T10B9) and complement, in addition to post-transplant immunosuppression. At presentation, all patients were receiving cyclosporine with or without low-dose steroids. Along with a mean Hb of 7.1 g%, patients had an increased reticulocyte count, a mild raised lactic dehydrogenase and a positive Coombs' test (in 2/5 patients). Four patients had also demonstrated a decrease in platelet count. Treatment was initiated with high-dose steroids and intravenous gamma globulin and response was observed within 1 week. Awareness of this presentation of cGVHD and early therapeutic intervention can result in successful reversal of presumed immune-mediated red cell and platelet destruction.
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    Author List

  • Godder K; Pati AR; Abhyankar SH; Lamb LS; Armstrong W; Henslee-Downey PJ
  • Start Page

  • 813
  • End Page

  • 817
  • Volume

  • 19
  • Issue

  • 8