Engraftment syndrome in autologous bone marrow and peripheral stem cell transplantation

C. K. Lee, R. D. Gingrich, Raymond Hohl, K. A. Ajram

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132 Scopus citations


Reproducible and characteristic clinical findings of fever, skin rash, capillary leak and pulmonary infiltrates have been observed during engraftment in patients with autologous bone marrow (BM) and/or peripheral stem cell transplantation (PSCT). Two hundred and forty-eight patients were analyzed retrospectively to establish the clinical entity, to characterize the clinical course, and to find clinical variables affecting the incidence of the syndrome. One hundred and eight cases (83.7 ± 9.4%) of fevers occurring in the peri-engraftment period (PEN) not associated with positive cultures, biopsies, or clinical signs of infection did not reveal delayed documentation of concealed infection in 2 weeks after engraftment. Capillary leak, pulmonary infiltrates, hypoxia, non-infectious neutropenic fever of engraftment and skin rash were found to be interrelated (all P < 0.01 except for hypoxia vs rash; P < 0.05). By stepwise discriminant analysis, one hundred and thirty-two patients (58.9 ± 6.4%) were shown to have both skin rash and non-infectious neutropenic fever, thereby constituting the syndrome. Sepsis in the first week of neutropenia decreased the incidence of the syndrome (58.5 ± 7.7% with sepsis, 89.6 ± 4.7% without sepsis, P < 0.01). Post-transplant granulocyte colony-stimulating factor increased the incidence of the syndrome (79 ± 4.6% with G-CSF vs 48.3 ± 8.2% without G-CSF, P < 0.01). In bone marrow transplantation (BMT), the median time of onset of the syndrome was 7 days (range 4-22 days) post-transplant with a median duration of 11 days (range 4-28 days) of the initial phase. Thirty-nine patients (17.4 ± 5.0%) revealed a recurrent pattern during the 5th week post-transplant. The study suggests that autologous engraftment in its early phase can be accompanied by a characteristic non-infectious febrile syndrome with acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) of skin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-182
Number of pages8
JournalBone Marrow Transplantation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Hematology
  • Transplantation


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