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Keywords:

  • autoimmune cytopenia;
  • immune thrombocytopenia;
  • Evans's syndrome;
  • pure red cell aplasia;
  • autologous;
  • allogeneic;
  • stem cell transplantation

Summary

This study describes the outcome of patients receiving haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) to treat severe refractory autoimmune cytopenia. The registry of the European Group of Blood and Marrow Transplantation holds data on 36 patients receiving 38 transplants, the first transplant was autologous for 27 and allogeneic for nine patients. Patients had autoimmune haemolytic anaemia (autologous: 5; allogeneic: 2), Evans's syndrome (autologous: 2; allogeneic: 5); immune thrombocytopenia (autologous: 12), pure red cell aplasia (autologous: 4; allogeneic: 1), pure white cell aplasia (autologous: 1; allogeneic 1), or thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (autologous: 3). Patients had longstanding disease having failed multiple prior treatments. Among 26 evaluable patients mobilized for autologous HSCT, three died of treatment-related causes, one died of disease progression, seven were non-responders, six patients had transient responses and nine had continuous partial or complete remission. Of the seven evaluable patients receiving allogeneic HSCT, one died of treatment-related complications, one with transient response died of progressive disease and five had a continuous response. Autologous and allogeneic HSCT may induce a response in a subset of patients with autoimmune cytopenia of long duration albeit at the price of considerable toxicity.