Immune reconstitution and early infectious complications following nonmyeloablative hematopoietic stem cell transplantation

Alessandro Busca, Elisabetta Lovisone, Sabrina Aliberti, Franco Locatelli, Anna Serra, Patrizia Scaravaglio, Paola Omedé, Giuseppe Rossi, Daniela Cirillo, Anna Barbui, Valeria Ghisetti, Anna Maria Dall'Omo, Michele Falda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Non-myeloablative stem cell transplantation (NMT) has been increasingly used in compromised patients who would otherwise have been unable to undergo allotransplant. There is little understanding of the kinetics of immune reconstitution and its influence on infective complications following NMT. The aim of present study was to evaluate lymphocyte subset reconstitution over the first 12 months posttransplant in 15 adult patients receiving NMT with comparison to that of 30 patients grafted with a conventional hemopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). NMT recipients were conditioned with fludarabine-based conditioning regimens. Peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) was the source of stem cells in 13 NMT recipients and in 24 conventional HSCT recipients. Absolute numbers of helper (CD4+) T cells, naive (CD4+ CD45RA+) and memory (CD4+ CD45RO+) T cells as well as suppressor (CD8+) T cells, CD19+ B cells and NK cells were comparable in the two groups at all time points after transplantation. A median value of 200 CD4+ T cells/μl was achieved at 2 months posttransplant by the NMT and HSCT recipients. The CD4:CD8 ratio remained severely depressed throughout the study period. Almost all CD4+ lymphocytes expressed CD45RO antigen in the both groups of patients B lymphocytes showed low counts throughout the entire study period in both groups. Bacteremia and CMV antigenemia occurred respectively in 13 and 36% of the patients in the NMT group and in 15 and 39% of the patients in the HSCT group. Our preliminary data indicate that patients receiving a NMT have a lymphocyte reconstitution similar to that observed in patients who received a conventional HSCT. The incidence of bacteremia and CMV infection were not significantly different between the groups. Nevertheless, due to the small sample size, these results should be considered suggestive rather than definitive.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-311
Number of pages9
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2003


  • CMV reactivation
  • Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation
  • Immune reconstitution
  • Infectious complications

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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