Hyperlipidemia after allogeneic stem cell transplantation: prevalence, risk factors, and impact on prognosis


  • Conflict of interest: We declare that there are no competing interests regarding the contents of this article.

Corresponding author: Mineo Kurokawa, Department of Hematology & Oncology, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8655, Japan.

Tel.: +81 3 5800 9092; fax: +81 3 5840 8667; e-mail: kurokawa-tky@umin.ac.jp


Hyperlipidemia is one of the late complications after allogeneic stem cell transplantation (SCT). Although intrahepatic cholestasis caused by chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) or calcineurin inhibitors has been considered as possible etiologies, its prevalence, risk factors, and impact on prognosis have not been investigated well. We performed a retrospective analysis of 194 patients who underwent allogeneic SCT between 1995 and 2008 in our institute and survived more than 100 d after SCT. Overall, 83 (42.8%) and 99 (50.8%) patients developed hypercholesterolemia (≥240 mg/dL) and hypertriglyceridemia (≥200 mg/dL), respectively. In multivariate analysis, the development of chronic GVHD (hazard ratio [HR] 2.04, p < 0.05) and steroid use (HR 2.24, p < 0.01) were independently associated with hypercholesterolemia, while administration of calcineurin inhibitors was not. As for the prognostic impact, multivariate analysis showed that the patients with hypercholesterolemia had a tendency of lower rate of relapse (HR: 0.44, p = 0.07). There was no difference in non-relapse mortality or overall survival between the groups. In conclusion, the development of hypercholesterolemia is regarded as one of the symptoms accompanied with chronic GVHD and might indicate a better control of the primary disease.