Lymphocyte expansion after unrelated cord blood allogeneic stem cell transplantation in adults
Limited information is available regarding the incidence and features of lymphocyte expansions after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT). Large granular lymphocytes (LGL) expansions have been reported after bone marrow or peripheral blood, but not after unrelated cord blood (UCB) allo-HSCT, associated with indolent clinical courses and favorable outcomes. Here, we considered 85 recipients of UCB allo-HSCT to more broadly define the impact of lymphocytosis, not limited to LGL. Sustained lymphocytosis was observed in 21 (25%) patients at a median onset of 12.6 months and with a median duration of 12 months. Immunophenotypic analysis showed predominantly CD8+ T and/or polyclonal B-cell expansions. Three patients only had monoclonal T-cell expansion. CMV reactivation was significantly more frequent in the group of patients with lymphocytosis (76% vs 28%, P = 0.0001), but was not associated with survival. Conversely, 2-year disease-free survival and overall survival were significantly higher for lymphocytosis patients (85% vs 55%, P = 0.01 and 85% vs 63%, P = 0.03, respectively). In conclusion, expansion of T or B lymphocytes after UCB allo-HSCT in adults is not a rare event. Although occurring relatively late after transplant, this feature is predictive of a better outcome for the patients.