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Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2005 Jul;11(7):551-7.

Sirolimus and thrombotic microangiopathy after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

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Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


Thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA) may occur after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) and is related in part to calcineurin inhibitor toxicity. We observed a higher-than-expected rate of TMA when calcineurin inhibitors were combined with sirolimus. To determine the incidence of and risk factors for TMA after HSCT, we performed a retrospective cohort analysis of myeloablative allogeneic HSCT recipients between 1997 and 2003. TMA diagnosis required the simultaneous occurrence of (1) creatinine increase >2 mg/dL or >50% above baseline, (2) schistocytosis, (3) increased lactate dehydrogenase, and (4) no evidence of disseminated intravascular coagulopathy. A total of 111 sirolimus-exposed subjects were compared with 216 nonexposed subjects after HSCT. TMA occurred in 10.8% of the sirolimus group and 4.2% in the nonsirolimus group (odds ratio, 2.79; P=.03). Sirolimus exposure was associated with TMA earlier than in nonsirolimus patients (25 versus 58 days; P=.04). Only the use of sirolimus (exact odds ratio, 3.49; P=.02) and grade II to IV acute graft-versus-host disease (exact odds ratio, 6.60; P=.0002) were associated with TMA in regression analyses. Treatment of TMA varied among affected individuals. Renal recovery was complete in 92% of sirolimus-treated patients. Overall survival after TMA diagnosis was better for sirolimus subjects than for nonsirolimus subjects (58.3% versus 11.1%; P=.02). Sirolimus seems to potentiate the effects of calcineurin inhibitors on TMA after HSCT. TMA associated with sirolimus seems reversible and has a favorable prognosis when compared with TMA associated with calcineurin inhibitors alone. A careful monitoring strategy for TMA should be used with a sirolimus-containing graft-versus-host disease prophylaxis regimen.

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