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Bone Marrow Transplant. 2005 May;35(10):991-5.

Late thyroid toxicity in 153 long-term survivors of allogeneic bone marrow transplantation for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

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Service de Pédiatrie, CHRU Hôpital Nord, Saint-Etienne Cedex, France.


The purpose of this study was to identify risk factors for hypothyroidism after bone marrow transplantation (BMT) for high-risk or relapsed acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) in children. In all, 388 children with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia underwent allogeneic bone marrow transplantation between 1984 and 1994. Overall 5-year survival was 54.6%. Thyroid function was assessed in the 153 patients with more than 5 years of follow-up. In total, 16 patients developed uncompensated hypothyroidism (UH) and 46 compensated hypothyroidism (CH) a median of 2.9 and 2.7 years, respectively, after BMT. Thyroid dysfunction-free survival rates were 73.2% after 5 years and 59.2% after 10 years. Three factors were significantly associated with the onset of hypothyroidism, namely age, bone marrow transplantation in second remission, and single-dose total body irradiation (TBI). Ultrasonography of the thyroid showed nodules in 10 of 35 patients. The median time from BMT to nodule detection was 7.8 years. Cytology (n=5) and surgery (n=4) showed no evidence of thyroid cancer. Four of the 14 patients who received cytoreduction without TBI but with busulphan and cyclophosphamide developed UH (n=2) or CH (n=2). We concluded that children who undergo BMT for ALL are at a high risk of subsequent thyroid dysfunction.

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