Peri-engraftment syndrome in allogeneic hematopoietic SCT

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Engraftment syndrome (ES) and pre-engraftment syndrome (pre-ES) are both inflammatory conditions that occur after hematopoietic SCT (HSCT) and are characterized by non-infectious fever and skin rash. Although the pathogenesis is not fully understood, both syndromes are similar, and could be defined as a new clinical syndrome, named as peri-engraftment syndrome (peri-ES). We retrospectively analyzed the clinical records in 176 pediatric patients, following allogeneic HSCT. We utilized the definition of ES by Spitzer as the diagnostic criteria, excluding ‘within 96 h of engraftment’ criteria. Thirty cases developed peri-ES with a cumulative incidence of 17.0%. High cumulative incidence (50%) was seen in patients who underwent a double-unit cord blood transplantation (DUCBT; P<0.01). Clinical findings of peri-ES are similar, regardless of the onset day, and encephalopathy was the most severe complication. In the DUCBT cohort, the use of TBI and early complete chimerism (≤ day 21) were identified as risk factors that predispose the development of peri-ES. We determined that both, ES and pre-ES, might have similar causes, which could be included in peri-ES. Particularly, it occurred more in DUCBT patients, which means that not only neutrophil engraftment but also immune reactions within the two units might contribute to peri-ES.

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