Whole-Body Lung Function Test–Derived Outcome Predictors in Allogenic Stem Cell Transplantation

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Despite clinical advances, late onset pulmonary complications in adult recipients of allogenic stem cell transplantation are a major cause of morbidity and mortality. Reported incidence and risk factors in the literature vary broadly and are partly contradictory. Identification of pretransplant factors associated with major complications would be helpful to define individual treatment strategies and early initiation of preventive measures. To evaluate incidence and risk factors of late onset noninfectious pulmonary complications, with special regard to small airways disease (SAD) and bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS), indicating graft-versus-host disease, following myeloablative versus nonmyeloablative allogenic stem cell transplantation. We reviewed the clinical records and assessed the course of lung function and pulmonary complications in adults who underwent allogenic stem cell transplantation for hematological malignancies between 1999 and 2015 using nonmyeloablative (n = 179) or myeloablative (n = 130) conditioning at the Division of Hematology of the Medical University of Graz. All patients underwent body plethysmography pulmonary function test (PFT), diffusion capacity for carbon monoxide, and arterial blood gas analysis before and repeatedly after transplant. SAD was defined as maximal expiratory flow at 50% and 25% of forced vital capacity <70% predicted. Ventilatory disorders and gas transfer abnormalities were common before and after allogenic stem cell transplantation, independent of conditioning regimen. SAD was common in the nonmyeloablative (34%) and myeloablative (29%) groups. The 100-day post-transplant mortality was significantly associated with reduced pretransplant total lung capacity <80%. Mortality 100 days post-transplant was significantly associated with pretransplant SAD and a pretransplant smoking history. In this subset, a smoking history was independently associated with increased mortality, with a 5-year mortality of 45% compared with 26% in never-smokers. Pretransplant SAD was not predictive for the later development of BOS. Smoking history, pretransplant restrictive PFT, and pre-existing SAD are important risk factors for death following allogenic stem cell transplantation. However, pretransplant SAD is not a predictor of long-term complications, including BOS.




Scheidl, S., Zinke-Cerwenka, W., Flick, H., Gaal, S., Avian, A., Greinix, H., & Olschewski, H. (2019). Whole-Body Lung Function Test–Derived Outcome Predictors in Allogenic Stem Cell Transplantation. Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation, 25(1), 129–136. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2018.07.036

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