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Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2009 Jan;15(1 Suppl):84-90. doi: 10.1016/j.bbmt.2008.10.007.

Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome: diagnosis, clinical and laboratory manifestations, and treatment.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA.


Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome (WAS) is a rare X-linked immunodeficiency disorder that has a variable clinical phenotype that correlates with the type of mutation in WASP, the gene encoding the WAS protein (WASP). WASP is a key regulator of actin polymerization in hematopoietic cells and has well-defined domains that are involved in signaling, cell locomotion, and immune synapse formation. Classic WAS often results from mutations that cause the absence of WASP expression, associated with thrombocytopenia with small platelets, sinopulmonary infections, and eczema in young males. Other phenotypes associated with expression of mutated WASP are X-linked thrombocytopenia and neutropenia. To date, the only curative therapy for WAS is hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) although gene therapy for WAS is under study. At least 2 retrospective studies of HCT for WAS have indicated that although HLA-matched sibling donors have the best outcomes (81% to 88%), when such a donor is not available, a matched unrelated donor should be considered (71% event free survival), although results are best in patients age < 5 years. Whereas most of the experience to date in Asia, Europe, and North America has been with myeloablative conditioning regimens, more recently, reduced-intensity conditioning (RIC) regimens also have been used with success. The issue of whether mixed chimerism post-HCT (which has a higher incidence in RIC transplantation) is associated with increased autoimmune manifestations in patients with WAS remains to be resolved.

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