Early recipient chimerism testing in the T- and NK-cell lineages for risk assessment of graft rejection in pediatric patients undergoing allogeneic stem cell transplantation.

St Anna Children's Hospital, Vienna, Austria.
Leukemia: official journal of the Leukemia Society of America, Leukemia Research Fund, U.K (Impact Factor: 9.38). 09/2011; 26(3):509-19. DOI: 10.1038/leu.2011.244
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Timely diagnosis of impending graft rejection is crucial for effective therapeutic intervention after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (SCT). We have investigated the predictive potential of early leukocyte subset-specific chimerism for graft loss in children undergoing SCT. In total, 192 pediatric patients transplanted for the treatment of malignant and non-malignant diseases after reduced-intensity or myeloablative conditioning were investigated. Surveillance of lineage-specific chimerism was initiated upon first appearance of leukocyte counts amenable to cell sorting. Graft rejection occurred in 23 patients between 24 and 492 days post-transplant (median 63 days). The first chimerism analysis of T and NK cells performed at a median of 20 days after SCT identified three different risk groups that were independent from the conditioning regimen: recipient chimerism (RC) levels in T cells below 50% indicated a very low risk of rejection (1.4%), whereas high levels of RC (>90%) both in T and NK cells heralded graft loss in the majority of patients (90%) despite therapeutic interventions. RC >50% in T cells and ≤90% in NK cells defined an intermediate-risk group in which timely immunotherapy frequently prevented rejection. Early assessment of T- and NK-cell chimerism can therefore be instrumental in the risk assessment and therapeutic management of imminent graft rejection.

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