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Bone Marrow Transplant. 1998 Jan;21(1):15-22.

Haematopoietic abnormalities after autologous stem cell transplantation in lymphoma patients.

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Bone Marrow Transplantation Unit, Ospedale Maggiore IRCCS, Milan, Italy.


Haematopoietic reconstitution after autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT) was evaluated at different times in 26 lymphoma patients. All of the patients showed a significant decrease in the number of both committed (CFU-C) and more primitive progenitor cells (LTC-IC). The expansion of bone marrow progenitor cells in a 'stroma-free' long-term liquid culture system supplemented with SCF, IL-3, IL-6 and GM-CSF from 19 transplanted patients was significantly reduced compared to normal controls. The stromal cell compartment, evaluated by means of a CFU-F assay, was also greatly reduced. The number of haematopoietic and stromal cell progenitors was, nevertheless, very similar to their pre-transplant values. Bone marrow histology, which was evaluated at different times after transplant, showed an increase in reticulin fibres, the dilatation of parenchymal sinusoids and some morphological evidence of trilineage dysplasia in 11 patients; however, the same abnormalities were seen in the majority of pre-transplant samples. No cytogenetic abnormalities were observed in 15 patients before transplant, but four subsequently developed persistent clonal karyotypic alterations and five showed non-clonal abnormalities that generally disappeared over time. Our data suggest that both the stromal and the haematopoietic compartments are somehow damaged after ASCT for lymphoma; however, these defects generally pre-exist the transplant conditioning regimen and seem to become less pronounced over time.

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