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Bone Marrow Transplant. 1998 Jan;21(1):33-41.

Lymphocyte reconstitution after allogeneic blood stem cell transplantation for hematologic malignancies.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Oncology and Hematology, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha 68198-3330, USA.


Forty-one patients were studied at set times after allogeneic blood stem cell transplantation (alloBSCT) for recovery of lymphocyte numbers and function. Cells were mobilized with G-CSF from HLA-matched related donors and cryopreserved. Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) prophylaxis consisted of cyclosporine and methotrexate; G-CSF was administered post-transplant. Median time to absolute lymphocyte count (ALC) >500/microl was 17 days vs 41 and 49 days in historical alloBMT patients with G-CSF (n = 23) or no cytokine (n = 29) post-transplant, respectively (P < 0.0001). CD4/CD8+ ratio was 1.9 on day 28 after alloBSCT, then gradually declined to 0.8 at 1 year due to more rapid CD8+ cell recovery. Mean phytohemagglutinin-induced T cell responses were lower than normal on day +28 (P < 0.05), then tended to recover towards normal values. Natural-killer cytotoxicity remained low from day +28 to 1 year post-alloBSCT, but considerable lymphokine-activated killer cytotoxicity was induced from cells already obtained on day +28. Faster lymphocyte recovery correlated with better survival in alloBSCT patients (median follow-up 287 days, P = 0.002), ALC recovery was not affected by acute GVHD, CMV infections or doses of infused cells. ALC recovery did not correlate with survival in either historical alloBMT group. These data suggest that after alloBSCT lymphocyte reconstitution is faster than after alloBMT, and that quicker lymphocyte recovery predicts better survival in the alloBSCT setting.

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