Hyperbilirubinemia in the early phase after allogeneic HSCT: prognostic significance of the alkaline phosphatase/total bilirubin ratio

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Hyperbilirubinemia in the early phase after allogeneic hematopoietic SCT (HSCT) is due to various causes. One of the most important causes of hyperbilirubinemia is veno-occlusive disease/sinusoidal obstructive syndrome (VOD/SOS). However, the prognosis of patients who are clinically diagnosed as SOS varies. We retrospectively evaluated 82 patients who underwent their first allogeneic HSCT. GVHD prophylaxis was a combination of short-term MTX and CsA (n = 77) or tacrolimus (n = 5). Thirty-three patients developed hyperbilirubinemia, with a bilirubin level of at least 2 mg/dL, within 20 days after HSCT. Of these patients, 24 were diagnosed as VOD/SOS using the modified Seattle criteria. Twenty-six recovered to a bilirubin level of <2 mg/dL. We focused on the serum alkaline phosphatase/total bilirubin ratio (ALP/TB) at the onset of hyperbilirubinemia and found that it significantly predicted the recovery from hyperbilirubinemia. OS was significantly higher in patients with a lower ALP/TB ratio (P = 0.00056). In addition, a lower ALP/TB ratio was associated with better survival even in patients who were clinically diagnosed as SOS (P<0.001). The ALP/TB ratio at the onset of hyperbilirubinemia may be a useful predictor for the prognosis of hyperbilirubinemia and SOS early after HSCT.

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