Different Impact of the Number of Organ Failures and Graft-Versus-Host Disease on the Outcome of Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplantation Recipients Requiring Intensive Care

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Admission of allogeneic stem cell transplantation (SCT) recipients to the intensive care unit (ICU) remains controversial, especially when graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is present.


We performed a retrospective study to assess prognostic factors of survival in all allogeneic SCT recipients admitted to the ICU between 2002 and 2013 in our center which has flexible admission criteria, especially regarding GVHD.


Of 349 patients who underwent allogeneic SCT during the study period, 92 patients (26%) were admitted to the ICU. Intensive care unit and hospital discharge rates were 66% and 46%, respectively, whereas 1 year survival was 24%. Acute GVHD, either grade III to IV (30 patients, 33%) or refractory (12 patients, 13%) had a nonsignificant impact on hospital mortality (odds ratio [OR], 2.1; P = 0.1; OR, 5, P = 0.05, respectively). Fifty percent of patients required invasive mechanical ventilation, 30% required vasopressors, 17% required renal replacement therapy, and 28% had liver impairment (bilirubin >34 μmol/L), each of these parameters defining organ failure. Mortality was closely associated with the number of organ failures as hospital discharge rates were 69%, 50%, 42%, and 0% among patients with 0 (26 patients), 1 (26 patients), 2 (26 patients), and 3 to 4 (14 patients) organ failures, respectively (OR, 2.7; 95% confidence interval, 1.6-4.6; P < 0.001 according to the number of organ failures).


Early mortality of allogeneic SCT recipients admitted to the ICU is especially influenced by the number of organ failures and therefore patients with 0 to 2 organ failures should be considered if required. Refractory GVHD affects survival but not within the confined ICU admission.

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