Nephrotic Syndrome after Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation as a Late Complication of Chronic Graft-versus-Host Disease

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This study aims to determine the incidence and outcome of nephrotic syndrome in patients who underwent allogeneic stem cell transplantation in a single center.


Records of 279 adult patients with hematological diseases who underwent allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation were analyzed to evaluate the incidence and outcome of nephrotic syndrome. The diagnosis of chronic graft-versus-host disease was based on clinical evidence with histological confirmation whenever possible.


Of the 279 patients, 105 with a minimum follow-up of 100 days developed chronic graft-versus-host disease: six of these had nephrotic syndrome. The cumulative incidence of nephrotic syndrome was 8% at day +1681. Patients grafted with peripheral blood stem cells had a higher probability of developing nephrotic syndrome than did those grafted with bone marrow: 24% and 3%, respectively. The pathological diagnosis was membranous glomerulonephritis in four patients, and minimal change disease in one; the diagnosis could not be histologically confirmed in the sixth patient. All patients had extensive chronic graft-versus-host disease and were receiving treatment with cyclosporine A and steroids (four patients). Response to immunosuppressive therapy with cyclosporine A and steroids was achieved in all patients at a median time of 12 weeks after transplantation.


Patients with chronic graft-versus-host disease may be considered to be at risk of nephrotic syndrome: careful monitoring of renal function is advisable, particularly in patients receiving allogeneic peripheral stem cell grafts.

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