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Br J Haematol. 2006 Sep;134(5):510-6.

Human leucocyte antigen-identical haematopoietic stem cell transplantation in major histocompatiblity complex class II immunodeficiency: reduced survival correlates with an increased incidence of acute graft-versus-host disease and pre-existing viral infections.

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Unité d'Immunologie et Hématologie Pédiatrique, Faculté de Médecine Université Réné Descartes, Paris, France.


Major histocompatibility complex class II deficiency, a rare autosomal recessive primary immunodeficiency, is caused by the defective expression of human leucocyte antigen (HLA) class II molecules due to mutated trans-acting elements of any one of four regulatory genes (CIITA, RFXANK, RFX5, RFXAP). The impaired CD4 T-cell differentiation and antigen presentation in the periphery results in a severe defect of cellular and humoral response consistent with severe recurrent infections, leading to a poor prognosis. Currently, allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is the only curative approach, but the overall cure rate is lower than in other immunodeficiencies. We report a single centre experience of 17 HSCTs with 15 HLA-identical donors between 1981 and 2004. Eight patients survived, while the occurrence of acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) was 50%. This study aimed to identify potential risk factors for GVHD and outcome within pre-HSCT complications related to the immunodeficiency. Five of seven patients with pre-existing viral infections developed acute GVHD > or = grade II, of whom four died. Two of seven patients without detectable pre-existing viral infection developed GVHD > or = grade II, and one died. The difference was significant (P < 0.05). A plausible link with other factors potentially associated with the development of GVHD could not be found. We suggest that the reduced survival after HLA-identical HSCT may be caused by the high incidence of pre-existing viral infections and associated with the onset of severe acute GVHD.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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