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Blood. 1992 Feb 15;79(4):1068-73.

Growth in children after bone marrow transplantation: busulfan plus cyclophosphamide versus cyclophosphamide plus total body irradiation.

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Bone Marrow Transplantation Program, Johns Hopkins Oncology Center, Baltimore, MD.


Growth was assessed during the first and second years following bone marrow transplantation (BMT) in 47 children treated by either busulfan plus cyclophosphamide (BU/CY) (n = 24) or cyclophosphamide plus fractionated total body irradiation (CY/TBI) (n = 23). Before transplant, the median height was only 0.2 SD below age- and sex-adjusted means (range, -2.5 to +3.0). Height was greater than 2.0 SD below normal in only three patients (6%). The pretransplant heights were comparable in the BU/CY and CY/TBI groups (-0.1 v -0.6 SD, P = .35). Following transplant, median 1- and 2-year heights were 0.7 and 0.9 SD below normal, respectively. Growth rates were 2.2 SD and 1.4 SD below normal during the first and second years, respectively. Growth rates were greater than 2.0 SD below normal in 24 of 47 (51%) at 1 year and in 12 of 31 (39%) at 2 years after transplant. Growth rates in patients treated with BU/CY were comparable to those treated with CY/TBI during both years: -2.5 versus -1.7 SD during the first year (P = .19, Wilcoxon), and -1.5 versus -1.1 SD during the second year (P = .61). Growth rates during the second year correlated with growth rates during the first year (r = .36, P = .046). Growth rates during the first year were lower in patients who had been given prior cranial irradiation, those who were near pubertal age at the time of transplant, and those who were transplanted for a disease other than acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). During the second year, poor rates of growth were associated only with the use of corticosteroids after transplant.

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