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Bone Marrow Transplant. 2013 Jun;48(6):814-8. doi: 10.1038/bmt.2012.228. Epub 2012 Nov 19.

Chest health surveillance utility in the early detection of bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome in children after allo-SCT.

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Division of Haematology/Oncology/BMT, The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


To prospectively assess whether periodic chest health surveillance is beneficial for the early detection of bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS) in children after allo-SCT. Children up to 18 years of age receiving allo-SCT from September 2009 to September 2011 were included. Surveillance consisted of the following: a 7-item respiratory system questionnaire of cough, wheeze and shortness of breath; focused physical examination; and pulmonary function test (PFT) conducted before SCT and at 1, 3, 6, 9, 12, 18 and 24 months after SCT. Thirty-nine patients were enrolled. Five children developed BOS at a median time of 192 days (range 94-282). Positive response comparisons between the BOS group vs the non-BOS group were NS for history questionnaire (P=0.2), heart rate (P=0.3), respiratory rate (P=0.3) and oxygen saturation monitoring (P=0.8). Differences between the two groups for chest auscultation and PFT were statistically significant (P=0.03 and P=0.01, respectively). However, chest auscultation in the BOS group was only positive after BOS diagnosis. PFT reduction was evident in the asymptomatic phase (BOS group 33%; non-BOS group 4.5%, P=0.01). Changes in PFT, but not history/physical examination, allow the early detection of BOS in children after SCT. Our study is limited by the small sample size.

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