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Engraftment syndrome after allogeneic stem cell transplantation: a systematic review and meta-analysis


Engraftment syndrome (ES) is associated with neutrophil recovery after stem cell transplantation (SCT). It is associated with autologous and allogeneic SCT. However, a literature review has shown that allogeneic SCT (allo-SCT) is associated with ES without conclusive data on risk factors or effects on outcomes. This meta-analysis was undertaken to estimate the cumulative incidence of ES following allo-SCT, and to evaluate the risk factors and outcomes among patients with ES following allo-SCT. Current literature was searched using electronic databases, and manually. Studies with ES after allo-SCT were selected, and a meta-analysis of proportion was performed using the Freeman–Tukey Double Arcsine transformation, random-effects model to calculate the cumulative incidence of ES. Donor type, source of haematopoetic stem cells, graft vs. host disease (GvHD) prophylaxes, and conditioning regimens’ intensity were evaluated for risk factors for ES. Association of acute GvHD (aGvHD), chronic GvHD (cGvHD), relapse, nonrelapse mortality (NRM), and overall survival (OS) between the ES and no ES groups were assessed using the odds ratio (OR). Eighteen studies were included comprising 3620 patients receiving allo-SCT and 774 of them had developed ES with a cumulative incidence of 35.4%. The odds of aGvHD (OR 2.5, p < 0.001), cGvHD (OR 4.5, p = 0.021), and NRM (OR 1.8, p = 0.01) were higher among patients who developed ES. The odds of relapse were significantly less (OR = 0.679, p = 0.011) among the ES group. OS (OR = 0.72, p < 0.001) was reduced in the ES group. Myeloablative conditioning was found to be a significant risk factor for ES development. In conclusion, ES after allo-SCT is common with higher odds of developing aGvHD, cGvHD, and NRM and lower odds of OS.

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Data availability

The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.


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GE: editing the manuscript and collecting the data. AAT: reviewing the manuscript. UG: the idea creator and reviewing the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Ghada ElGohary.

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ElGohary, G., Toor, A.A. & Gergis, U. Engraftment syndrome after allogeneic stem cell transplantation: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Bone Marrow Transplant 58, 1–9 (2023).

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