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Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 1996 May;2(2):93-9.

Marrow transplantation for hepatitis-associated aplastic anemia: a follow-up of long-term survivors.

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Division of Clinical Research, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA 98104, USA.


Between 1971 and 1989 we have treated 19 patients with hepatitis-associated aplastic anemia by marrow transplantation from their HLA-identical siblings following conditioning with 200 mg/kg cyclophosphamide (Cy) administered over a period of 4 days. One patient failed to engraft by day 34 and was given a second transplantation. He died from infection 15 days after the second transplantation. Eighteen patients had sustained engraftment. Six patients developed acute graft-vs.-host disease (GVHD) and two of these patients died 2.8 and 3.3 months after transplantation. Fifteen patients are surviving 4 to 24 (median 13) years after transplantation, while one patient died in a car accident 17 years after successful transplantation. Six of the surviving patients developed chronic GVHD. Two of the patients with chronic GVHD had preceding acute GVHD and four did not. Five of the six patients with chronic GVHD received donor buffy coat cells in addition to the marrow inoculum to prevent graft rejection. Twelve of the 15 surviving patients have Karnofsky performance scores of 100%. One patient, living more than 4 years after transplantation, has a Karnofsky score of 40% because of persistent cognitive deficits following non-A, non-B hepatitis with hepatic coma. Two patients developed hepatitis C infection 12 and 18 years after transplantation, respectively. Except for mild fatigue and mildly elevated liver function tests, these patients are doing well with Karnofsky performance scores between 95 and 100%. One patient developed severe coronary artery disease 10 years after transplantation, decreasing his Karnofsky performance score to 80%. Serum samples before and after transplantation from 13 patients were tested for hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA and hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Only one patient tested positive for HCV RNA before transplantation. Seven of 15 sera were hepatitis C RNA-positive posttransplantation, but only one of these patients has developed active hepatitis C. All 13 patients were were negative for hepatitis B surface antigen and HBV DNA. Only one patient had IgM antibodies against hepatitis A virus (HAV) before transplantation, which suggested HAV infection. Hepatitis-associated aplastic anemia apparently was caused in most patients by a non-A, non-B, non-C agent. HLA-identical marrow transplantation for hepatitis-associated aplastic anemia with Cy as conditioning regimen is well-tolerated and has a long-term event-free survival in excess of 80%, not different from results of marrow transplantations for aplastic anemia of other etiologies.

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