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Post-Transplant Complications

Long-term liver dysfunction after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation: clinical features and course in 61 patients

Abstract

This retrospective study has aimed at determining the prevalence, aetiology and clinical evolution of chronic liver disease (CLD) after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (BMT). A total of 106 patients who had been transplanted in a single institution and who had survived for at least 2 years after BMT were studied. The prevalence of CLD was 57.5% (61/106). In 47.3% of cases more than one aetiopathogenic agent coexisted. The causes of CLD were iron overload (52.4%), chronic hepatitis C (47.5%), chronic graft-versus-host disease (C-GVHD) (37.7%), hepatitis B (6.5%), non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) (4.9%), autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) (4.9%) and unknown two (3.3%). Twenty-three patients with iron overload underwent venesections which were well tolerated. An improvement in liver function tests (LFTs) was observed in 21 (91%) patients. All six patients with siderosis as the only cause of CLD normalized LFT as well as three patients with HCV infection. Clinical evolution was satisfactory for patients with GVHD, AIH, NASH and hepatitis B. At the last visit 23 patients continued with abnormal LFTs, and 19 of them were infected by the HCV. A sustained biochemical and virologic response was achieved in only one case out of six patients with CHC who received interferon. We have found that CLD is a common complication in long-term BMT survivors. The aetiology is often multifactorial, iron overload, CHC and C-GVHD being the main causes. The CLD followed a rather ‘benign’ and slow course in our patients as none of them developed symptoms or signs of liver failure and we did not observe an increase in morbidity or mortality in these patients, but a longer follow-up is necessary in HCV infected patients based on the natural history of this infection in other populations. Bone Marrow Transplantation (2000) 26, 649–655.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported in part by grant number FIS 97/0157 awarded by the Fondo de Investigaciones Sanitarias de la Seguridad Social of Spain.

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Tomás, J., Pinilla, I., García-Buey, M. et al. Long-term liver dysfunction after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation: clinical features and course in 61 patients. Bone Marrow Transplant 26, 649–655 (2000). https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.bmt.1702532

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.bmt.1702532

Keywords

  • allogeneic BMT
  • liver
  • iron overload
  • hepatic virus

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