Organ dysfunction following hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) may be a manifestation of a systemic inflammatory response. We speculate that part of the platelet transfusion requirement in HSCT patients results from this systemic inflammatory response, and increased transfusion requirement would be associated with, or precede, organ dysfunction. We studied 199 adults undergoing autologous (n = 173) or allogeneic (n = 26) HSCT. Patients with CNS (P = 0.008) or pulmonary (P = 0.002) dysfunction, or with VOD (P = 0.05) received a higher mean number of platelet transfusions per week than patients who did not have these dysfunctions. Furthermore, a higher number of platelet transfusions during any 1 week period was significantly associated with development of pulmonary (P = 0.0002) or renal (P < 0.0001) dysfunction in the following week. This predictive value was strongest early in the HSCT course, but remained significant over all 4 weeks. In multivariate analysis the number of platelet transfusions during the previous week was independently predictive for development of pulmonary dysfunction in week 2 (P = 0.01) and week 3 (P = 0.055). We believe that occurrence of increased platelet transfusion requirement prior to onset of dysfunction is consistent with the concept that an antecedent inflammatory response results in both platelet consumption and various organ dysfunctions. Increased platelet transfusion requirement may act as an early marker of subsequent organ dysfunction. Additionally, there may be a direct role of platelets in the development and progression of organ dysfunction in HSCT patients.
- Multiple organ dysfunction
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