Splenectomy for Severe Autoimmune Cytopenias after Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplantation: Case Report

Abstract

Autoimmune cytopenias are rare but serious complications after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). We performed splenectomy in 2 patients who had severe autoimmune cytopenias after allogeneic HSCT (allo-HSCT) that were resistant to immunosuppressive treatment. The first patient underwent unrelated allo-HSCT for chronic granulocytic leukemia (CGL) in July 2000. Seven months later, red blood cell and platelet counts went down. The results of a direct Coombs test were intermittently positive. The patient was resistant to therapy with steroids and high-dose immunoglobulin. After a splenectomy was performed in February 2001, the hemoglobin concentration and platelet count improved. Her blood counts remained stable, with a hemoglobin level of approximately 110 g/L and a platelet count >100 x 109/L. She continued therapy with itraconazole, valacyclovir, and penicillin. Some months later, the patient was readmitted for fulminant septic infection, which had a fatal outcome. The second patient underwent related allo-SCT for CGL in January 2003. Seven months later, he was readmitted for intraocular bleeding accompanied by severe thrombocytopenia with antiplatelet antibodies. The patient was resistant to steroid and high-dose immunoglobulin therapy. A splenectomy was performed in September 2003. His platelet count normalized and remains stable. The patient continues therapy with itraconazole, valacyclovir, and penicillin and has not experienced any serious infection. We assume that splenectomy is an effective treatment for resistant immune cytopenias after allo-HSCT. However, severe late infections can compromise the outcome.

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Correspondence to Irena Preložnik Zupan or Hugh Grant Prentice or Jože Pretnar or Samo Zver or Peter Černelč.

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Zupan, I.P., Prentice, H.G., Pretnar, J. et al. Splenectomy for Severe Autoimmune Cytopenias after Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplantation: Case Report. Int J Hematol 82, 75–78 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1532/IJH97.E0430

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Key words

  • Allogeneic stem cell transplantation
  • Autoimmune cytopenias
  • Splenectomy