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Pediatr Res. 2013 Jun;73(6):777-82. doi: 10.1038/pr.2013.49. Epub 2013 Mar 14.

Time-related arterial changes after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in children.

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Department of Pediatric Cardiology, Children's Hospital, Helsinki University Central Hospital and University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.



Metabolic syndrome is a frequent late effect in young adults after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) performed in childhood.


To further study the signs of cardiovascular changes in HSCT patients, we performed noninvasive vascular ultrasonic measurements of arterial stiffness and endothelial function in 25 children (median age: 11.2 y) and in 22 healthy matched controls.


The distensibility of the common carotid artery (CCA) was significantly lower in the patients than in the controls (mean = 0.48, SD = 0.19 vs. mean = 0.64 mm Hg(-1) × 10(-2), SD = 0.28; P = 0.024). The distensibility decreased with time passed after HSCT (P = 0.009). The compliance of the CCA was decreased (mean = 0.10, SD = 0.04 vs. mean = 0.13 mm(2) × mm Hg(-1), SD = 0.05; P = 0.041), and the incremental elastic modulus (E inc) was higher in the patients than in the controls (mean = 2.05, SD = 0.7 vs. mean = 1.6 mm × 10(3), SD = 0.6; P = 0.019). E inc was associated with time passed after HSCT (P = 0.036). The size of the brachial artery and flow-mediated dilation did not differ between the groups.


Early mechanical changes of the arterial wall were found at young age after HSCT. Ultrasonography may offer a noninvasive method to find early alterations of the vascular bed and to optimize prevention of atherosclerosis in HSCT patients.

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