International Journal of Hematology

DOI: 10.1007/s12185-019-02624-y Pages: 584-592

Cerebrovascular disease after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation: incidence, risk, and clinical outcome

1. Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Division of Hematology, Department of Medicine

2. National Yang-Ming University, Faculty of Medicine

3. Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Division of Transfusion Medicine

4. Taipei Tzu Chi Hospital, Buddhist Tzu Chi Medical Foundation, Division of Hematology and Oncology, Department of Medicine

Correspondence to:
Yao-Chung Liu
Tel: 886-2-28757529



Cerebrovascular complications after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) cause serious morbidity and often contribute to mortality. The incidence, risk factors, and outcome of cerebrovascular disease (CVD) after allogeneic HSCT remain poorly defined. We retrospectively evaluated 459 adult patients who underwent allogeneic HSCT at a tertiary medical center between January 2003 and December 2015. A total of 20 patients (4.4%) developed post-transplant CVD. All cerebrovascular accidents occurred in the first two years post-transplant. The two-year incidences of post-transplant CVD, intracranial hemorrhage, and cerebrovascular infarction were 6.1%, 3.2%, and 3.2%, respectively. The incidence rate of CVD within two years after HSCT was 34.7 (95% CI 22.3 to − 53.7) per 1000 person-years, which was about tenfold higher than the general Taiwanese population. The only significant risk factor associated with post-transplant CVD is prior exposure to three or more courses of high-dose cytarabine. Post-transplant CVD is associated with dismal outcome and early mortality. The median overall survival of patients with post-transplant CVD was markedly reduced compared with those without CVD (8.0 vs. 60.6 months). Most patients with post-transplant CVD died within two months after the CVD events. Our study demonstrates that CVD remains a devastating complication after allogeneic HSCT in the modern era.

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