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Blood. 2007 Mar 15;109(6):2643-548. Epub 2006 Nov 21.

Development of a secondary autoimmune disorder after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for autoimmune diseases: role of conditioning regimen used.

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Division of Immunotherapy, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL 60611, USA.


Patients undergoing autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (auto-HSCT) for autoimmune disease may have an added propensity to develop a second autoimmune disorder, given the genetic predisposition to autoimmunity. Therefore, we undertook a retrospective analysis of all patients who have undergone auto-HSCT for an autoimmune disease in our institution to determine the occurrence of a second autoimmune disorder and possible risk factors. In all, 155 patients underwent auto-HSCT for various autoimmune diseases; of those patients, 6 manifested a distinct secondary autoimmune disease at a median of 8.5 months (range, 2-30 months) after auto-HSCT. There were 2 patients with systemic lupus erythematosus, conditioned with a regimen containing antithymocyte globulin (ATG), who developed factor VIII inhibitors with severe bleeding. There were 4 patients (2 with multiple sclerosis, one each with lupus and systemic sclerosis) who received an alemtuzumab-containing conditioning regimen who developed autoimmune cytopenias. Among the 155 patients, the frequency of secondary autoimmune complications was 16.0% with alemtuzumab (4/25), 1.9% for ATG (2/102), and 0% for conditioning regimens without lympho-depleting antibodies (0/28)-a difference that was found to be significantly higher with alemtuzumab exposure (P = .011). In contrast, sex, type of ATG used, and CD34-selection of peripheral blood stem cells were not found to be significantly associated with development of a secondary autoimmune disorder.

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