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Abstract

We evaluated the prognostic role of baseline levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) as well as CRP levels during conditioning in patients undergoing myeloablative allogeneic stem cell transplantation (SCT). Furthermore, we studied the impact of baseline clinical factors and conditioning regimens on CRP levels in the same period. We conducted a population-based retrospective study of 349 patients undergoing SCT at the National Danish SCT centre between January 2000 and January 2009. CRP levels increased significantly during the conditioning and peaked at day −3 before infusion of the graft. Elevated CRP was associated with older age, non-malignant disease, reduced pretransplant Karnofsky score and high-risk leukaemia. By univariate and multivariate analyses, increased CRP levels (>10 mg/l) before the start of treatment (day −7) and at the day of graft infusion (day 0) were associated with decreased overall survival [HR 1.35 (95%CL) (1.18–1.54); P < 0.0001] and increased treatment-related mortality [1.5 (1.24–1.82); P < 0.0001]. Similar findings were seen for mean CRP levels during the conditioning. CRP was not associated with risk of relapse or aGvHD in multivariate analysis. This study suggests that increased CRP levels before and during the conditioning are associated with baseline clinical factors and that elevated pretransplant CRP levels predict a poorer survival in SCT.