Engraftment Syndrome: Clinical Features and Predictive Factors in Autologous Stem Cell Transplant


Engraftment Syndrome (ES) maybe observed in patients who undergo autologous stem cell transplant (SCT). To investigate clinical criteria for ES diagnosis and analyse the risk factors for this complication, we reviewed all auto-SCT cases (Lymphoma and Myeloma) performed during the past 9 years at two tertiary care centres. We analysed all patients with a non-infectious fever, developed within 7 days of engraftment (first day of ANC of 500 on two consecutive days) in 178 patients undergoing autologous stem cell transplant. A total of 46/178 (25.8%) patients developed non-infectious fever and one or more clinical signs of ES within 7 days of engraftment. In all, 29 (61%) fulfilled the Maiolino and 12 (26%) the Spitzer criteria. The incidence of engraftment syndrome using the Maiolino criteria in our study was 29 (15%), which compares well with Spanish study (13% using same criteria) and the original Maiolino study (20%). All patients with ES satisfactorily recovered and discharged with a median of 20 days from hospital. There was no significant difference in number of days of hospitalisation and days of antibiotics between the ES and non ES arms. All patients recovered without any morbidity and only 1 (2%) patient required readmission for fungal pneumonitis. 8 (17%) patients required ICU admission due to delay in initiation of steroids. None of the factors including number of chemotherapy cycles, conditioning regime, disease status, CD34 collection, growth factors and day of WBC engraftment except female (p = 0.064) were statistically significant (in univariate or multivariate analysis). Our study shows that engraftment syndrome is common in autologous transplant setting. Maiolino criteria to diagnose ES is more sensitive in our setting. If detected and treated early there is not much morbidity or mortality related to ES.

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Author’s Contribution

VS, RJ and AG contributed equally, wrote manuscript, analyzed data, designed study; AG, treated patients; TS, mentored paper, treated patients.

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Correspondence to T. Saikia.

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No conflict of interest or funding to be declared.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Sheth, V., Jain, R., Gore, A. et al. Engraftment Syndrome: Clinical Features and Predictive Factors in Autologous Stem Cell Transplant. Indian J Hematol Blood Transfus 34, 448–453 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12288-017-0899-4

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  • Engraftment syndrome
  • Autologous stem cell transplantation
  • Engraftment fever
  • Non-infectious fever