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Döring, Michaela; Stanchi, Karin Melanie Cabanillas; Feucht, Judith; Queudeville, Manon; Teltschik, Heiko-Manuel; Lang, Peter; Feuchtinger, Tobias; Handgretinger, Rupert and Müller, Ingo (2016): Ferritin as an early marker of graft rejection after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in pediatric patients. In: Annals of Hematology, Vol. 95, No. 2: pp. 311-323

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Diagnosis of adverse events following hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is mainly assigned to clinical symptoms or biopsies and thus rather unspecific and/or invasive. Studies indicate a distinct role of serum ferritin in HSCT and its correlation with adverse events such as graft-versus-host disease (GvHD), veno-occlusive disease (VOD), or infections. However, published data on the relevance of ferritin as a prognostic marker for post-transplant adverse events is rare, especially in pediatric patients. The present study analyzes ferritin plasma concentrations of 138 pediatric patients after HSCT between 2007 and 2010 including the control group (n=21). Given the initial results regarding ferritin as a significant predictor for acute graft rejection after allogeneic HSCT in 9 of the 138 pediatric patients, serum ferritin of all pediatric patients (n=27) who experienced graft rejection between 2007 and 2014 was analyzed. In addition, laboratory parameters including C-reactive protein (CRP), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), fibrinogen, and D-dimer as possible differentiation markers for graft rejection were determined. In 24 (88.9 %) of the 27 pediatric patients with graft rejection, a significant increase of ferritin levels was observed 1 to 7 days prior to (P< 0.0001) and at the time of graft rejection (P< 0.0001). Moreover, there was an increase of D-dimer, CRP, LDH, and fibrinogen 1-7 days before graft rejection. Ferritin increased significantly at time of VOD (P=0.0067), at time of intestinal (P< 0.0001) and skin GvHD (P< 0.0001), and at time of sepsis (P=0.0005) and bacteremia (P=0.0029). Ferritin might serve as a readily available identification marker for differentiation and identification of adverse events after HSCT in combination with other laboratory markers.

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