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J Med Case Rep. 2009 Mar 10;3:6164. doi: 10.4076/1752-1947-3-6164.

Successful treatment of severe sinusoidal obstruction syndrome despite multiple organ failure with defibrotide after allogeneic stem cell transplantation: a case report.

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Department of Internal Medicine IV, Oncology and Haematology, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg Ernst-Grube-Strasse, 06097 Halle Germany.



We report a case of sinusoidal obstruction syndrome, a typical and life-threatening complication after allogeneic stem-cell transplantation, successfully treated with defibrotide despite massive multiple organ failure.


A 64-year-old Caucasian woman underwent allogeneic peripheral blood stem-cell transplantation from her human leukocyte antigen-identical sister against aggressive lymphoplasmocytoid immunocytoma. Seven days later, the patient developed severe sinusoidal obstruction syndrome according to the modified Seattle criteria. We initiated treatment with defibrotide. Despite early treatment, multiple organ failure with kidney failure requiring dialysis and ventilator-dependent lung failure aggravated the clinical course. Furthermore, central nervous dysfunction occurred as well as transfusion refractory thrombocytopenia.


As highlighted in our report, defibrotide is the most promising drug in the treatment of the formerly, almost lethal, severe sinusoidal obstruction syndrome to date. This is demonstrated very clearly in our patient. She improved completely, even after renal, cerebral and respiratory failure.

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