Excess of veno-occlusive disease in a randomized clinical trial on a higher trigger for red blood cell transfusion after bone marrow transplantation: a Canadian Blood and Marrow Transplant Group trial

Service d'Hematologie-Oncologie, Centre de Cancerologie Charles-Bruneau, Departement de Pediatrie, CHU Sainte-Justine, Universite de Montreal, 3175 chemin de la Cote-Sainte-Catherine,Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Biology of Blood & Marrow Transplantation. 2013;19((3):):468-73.
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Previous studies have shown that maintaining high hemoglobin levels in patients after chemotherapy reduced the length of neutropenia. Thus, we undertook a randomized, controlled, clinical trial in children undergoing allogeneic bone marrow transplantation after receiving a myeloablative conditioning regimen to compare 2 hemoglobin thresholds as triggers for red blood cell transfusion: 120 g/L in the experimental arm and 70 g/L in the control arm. The Data and Safety Monitoring Board closed the study after enrollment of the sixth patient because 3 patients in the experimental arm contracted veno-occlusive disease, but none in the control arm did (P=.05). Ascites was present in all 3 patients, pleura effusion in 2, and portal vein thrombosis in 2. One patient experienced hepatic failure and required treatment with the molecular adsorbent recycling system. Another patient required hemodialysis for renal failure. No major imbalance between groups was seen with regard to risk factors for veno-occlusive disease. Therefore, maintaining the hemoglobin at higher levels should be avoided after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Copyright 2013 American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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