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Br J Haematol. 2000 Jan;108(1):126-31.

High levels of antiphospholipid antibodies are associated with cytomegalovirus infection in unrelated bone marrow and cord blood allogeneic stem cell transplantation.

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Dipartimento di Biotecnologie Cellulari ed Ematologia, Università 'La Sapienza', Rome, Italy.


Antiphospholipid antibodies (APA) are a family of autoimmune and alloimmune immunoglobulins recognizing protein-phospholipid complexes in in vitro laboratory test systems. These antibodies have been associated with several conditions (malignancies, autoimmune diseases, infections, use of drugs); moreover, a syndrome capable of inducing thromboembolic disease has recently been associated with the presence of these antibodies. The aim of this prospective study was to investigate the levels of APA in subjects affected by haematological malignancies undergoing allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (ASCT). Between March 1996 and December 1997, 32 patients undergoing ASCT were studied prospectively until day +180 from transplant. The mean values of IgG and IgM anticardiolipin antibodies (ACA) increased in recipients of stem cells from anunrelated donor, and a statistically significant difference inACA IgG mean value between unrelated and related transplanted patients was demonstrated between days +95 and +180. All of the subjects who received stem cells from an unrelated donor had APA levels higher than the mean normal value +3 SD vs. 35% of those receiving stem cells from a related donor (P < 0.01). The reason for such a difference may be a result of the different incidence in documented cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection in the two groups (83% vs. 23%; P < 0.01), as indicated by the significant correlation between APA positivity and CMV infection (P < 0.05). No relationship was found between APA, conditioning regimen and acute or chronic graft vs. host disease (GVHD). Moreover, we did not observe any thromboembolic disorder or veno occlusive disease (VOD).

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