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ABO-Mismatched Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation

Nina Worel
Transfusion Medicine and Hemotherapy 2016, 43 (1): 3-12
Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is a curative option for a variety of malignant and non-malignant hematological and congenital diseases. Due to the fact that the human leukocyte antigen system is inherited independently of the blood group system, approximately 40-50% of all HSCTs are performed across the ABO blood group barrier. The expected immune-hematological consequences after transplantation of an ABO-mismatched stem cell graft are immediate and delayed hemolytic complications due to presence of isohemagglutinins or passenger lymphocyte syndrome. The risks of these complications can partially be prevented by graft manipulation and appropriate transfusion support. Dependent on the kind of ABO mismatch, different effects on engraftment have been observed, e.g. delayed red blood cell recovery and pure red cell aplasia. Data on incidence of acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), non-relapse mortality, relapse, and overall survival are inconsistent as most studies include limited patient numbers, various graft sources, and different conditioning and GVHD prophylaxis regimens. This makes it difficult to detect a consistent effect of ABO-mismatched transplantation in the literature. However, knowledge of expectable complications and close monitoring of patients helps to detect problems early and to treat patients efficiently, thus reducing the number of fatal or life-threatening events caused by ABO-mismatched HSCT.


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