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Keywords:

  • hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis;
  • children;
  • hematopoietic stem cell transplantation

Yoon HS, Im HJ, Moon HN, Lee JH, Kim H-J, Yoo KH, Sung KW, Koo HH, Kang HJ, Shin HY, Ahn HS, Cho B, Kim HK, Lyu CJ, Lee MJ, Kook H, Hwang TJ, Seo JJ. The outcome of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in Korean children with hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis. Pediatr Transplantation 2010: 14:735–740. © 2010 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

Abstract:  Chemoimmunotherapy-based treatments have improved the survival of patients with HLH, but outcomes of the patients are still unsatisfactory. We report here the outcome of Korean children with HLH who underwent HSCT, which was analyzed from the data of a nation-wide HLH registry. Retrospective nation-wide data recruitment for the pediatric HLH patients diagnosed between 1996 and 2008 was carried out by the Histiocytosis Working Party of the Korean Society of Hematology. Nineteen patients who received HSCT among the total of 148 enrolled children with HLH were analyzed for the transplant-related variables and events. The probability of five-yr survival after HSCT was 73.3% with a median follow-up of 57. Two months compared to 54.3% for the patients who were treated with chemoimmunotherapy only (p = 0.05). The reasons for HSCT were active disease after eight wk of initial treatment (n = 9), relapsed disease (n = 5), and FHL (n = 5). Fourteen patients are currently alive without disease after HSCT, four patients died of treatment-related events (infection in two and graft failure in two) at early post-transplant period, and one patient died of relapse at one yr post transplantation. The survival of patients who were transplanted because of active disease after eight wk of initial treatment was worse compared to those patients who had inactive state at that time (60.6% vs. 100%, respectively, p = 0.06). Of the four patients who received transplants using cord blood, three died of graft failure (n = 2) and relapse (n = 1). The five-yr probability of survival after HSCT according to the donor type was 85.7% for the MRDs (n = 6), 87.5% for the MUDs (n = 8), and 40% for the MMUDs (n = 5) (p = 0.03). Other variables such as age, CNS involvement at the time of diagnosis, the etiology of HLH (familial or secondary), and the conditioning regimens had no influence on the five-yr OS of the HLH patients who underwent HSCT. HSCT improved the survival of the patients who had familial, relapsed, or severe and persistent SHLH in the Korean nation-wide HLH registry. Although numbers were small, these results are similar to other reports in the literature. The disease state after initial treatment, the stem cell source of the transplant, and the donor type were the important prognostic factors that affected the OS of the HLH patients who underwent HSCT.