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Br J Haematol. 2011 Oct;155(2):248-55. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2141.2011.08845.x. Epub 2011 Sep 9.

Fibroproliferative activity in patients with immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) treated with thrombopoietic agents.

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Department of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY 10065, USA.


This study assessed the grade of bone marrow (BM) fibrosis and its association with a seromarker for collagen-III formation and fibrosis-related cytokines in 25 immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) patients treated with thrombopoietin receptor agonists (Tpo-RA) who had at least one BM biopsy. Assessment of 8 pre- and on-treatment BM biopsies revealed statistically significant increases in reticulin. Reticulin in biopsies performed after a median of 1·4 years of treatment was graded: MF-0 in 3 (12%), MF-1 in 19 (76%), MF-2 in 2 (8%) and MF-3 in 1 (4%). No cytogenetic or flow-cytometric abnormalities were detected. Median pretreatment Procollagen III N-propeptide (PIIINP) (6·6 μg/l) was significantly higher than on-treatment levels (5·6 μg/l); both were higher than controls (3·4 μg/l; P < 0·001). PIIINP was negatively correlated with treatment duration (r = -0·49) suggesting a decelerated reticulin production over time. There was a trend towards an association between grade of reticulin and PIIINP. Transforming growth factor (GF)-beta and basic-Fibroblast GF were not different between patients and controls but Hepatocyte GF (HGF), an anti-fibrotic cytokine, was significantly elevated in patients. In conclusion, low-grade BM reticulin fibrosis is seen in most ITP patients on Tpo-RA. The novel findings of decreasing PIIINP and elevated HGF need further investigation to explore their significance in BM fibrogenesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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