-Author name in bold denotes the presenting author
-Asterisk * with author name denotes a Non-ASH member
Clinically Relevant Abstract denotes an abstract that is clinically relevant.

PhD Trainee denotes that this is a recommended PHD Trainee Session.

Ticketed Session denotes that this is a ticketed session.

2060 Hypofibrinolysis in Pediatric Patients with Veno-Occlusive Disease in Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation

Program: Oral and Poster Abstracts
Session: 721. Allogeneic Transplantation: Conditioning Regimens, Engraftment and Acute Toxicities: Poster I
Hematology Disease Topics & Pathways:
Research, Bleeding and Clotting, Clinical Research, Diseases, Adverse Events
Saturday, December 10, 2022, 5:30 PM-7:30 PM

Veronika Schneider, Dr.1*, Karin Melanie Cabanillas Stanchi, Dr.1*, Karina Althaus2,3*, Sarah Schober, Dr.1*, Sebastian Michaelis, Dr.1*, Christian M. Seitz, Dr.1*, Peter Lang, Dr.1*, Rupert Handgretinger, Dr.1, Tamam Bakchoul, MD2,4, Stefanie Hammer, Dr.2,4* and Michaela Döring, Dr.1*

1Dpt. I - General Pediatrics, Hematology and Oncology, University Children's Hospital Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany
2Center for Clinical Transfusion Medicine ZKT GmbH, Tübingen, Germany
3University Hospital of Tuebingen, Institute for Clinical and Experimental Transfusion Medicine (IKET), Tübingen, Germany
4Institute for Clinical and Experimental Transfusion Medicine, University Hospital Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany

1. Background

Veno-occlusive disease (VOD) is a serious complication of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) with a high incidence in pediatric patients (11–27%). In clinical practice, VOD is diagnosed with criteria including weight gain, ascites, hepatomegaly, hyperbilirubinemia, and refractory thrombocytopenia. To date, there are no established markers for an earlier diagnosis of VOD. The aspect of assessing hypofibrinolysis, which plays a role in VOD pathogenesis, has not been elucidated. This study aimed to detect signs of hypofibrinolysis in HSCT and VOD patients using thrombelastography parameters and to discover correlations between alterations of these parameters and established symptoms of VOD.

2. Patients and Methods

Patients admitted for HSCT to the pediatric HSCT ward at the University Children’s Hospital Tübingen, Germany, between May 2020 and November 2021 were prospectively enrolled (study group). Patients who underwent minor surgical procedures or follow-up blood tests years after recovering from oncological diseases and who were otherwise healthy, were recruited as a control group.

Blood samples for thrombelastography (EX and TPA test, including the coagulation time (CT), clot formation time (CFT), clot amplitude after 5 minutes (A05), maximum clot firmness (MCF), maximum lysis (ML), α-angle, and lysis time (LT)) were taken once to twice weekly in addition to daily routine blood tests in patients undergoing HSCT. Routine testing included blood counts, coagulation parameters, d-dimers, and bilirubin. VOD symptoms were monitored daily and body weight was measured twice a day. Ultrasound screenings for ascites, progredient hepatomegaly, and portal venous flow velocity were performed in case of suspected VOD. All patients received intravenous anticoagulation with 100 IU/kg and day of unfractionated heparin. Of the control group patients, 6 ml blood was collected once per patient for routine coagulation testing and thrombelastography.

3. Results

A total of 51 patients with a median age of 7.8 years were recruited in the study group. Of these patients, five (9.8%) developed VOD and received defibrotide treatment. The VOD was graded moderate (n=2; 4%), severe (n=1; 2%) or very severe (n=2; 4%). Defibrotide treatment was initiated for 4 weeks or until the resolution of symptoms in standard dosing (25 milligrams per kilogram per day (mg/kg/d)) in four doses over 2 hours). The control group consisted of 55 patients with a median age of 6.7 years.

A significant difference in thrombelastographic measurements was observed when comparing the VOD to the HSCT group. The lysis time after activation of fibrinolysis in the TPA test was prolonged in the VOD group at 3 weeks after HSCT (d+14 to +21: VOD: 330±67 seconds, HSCT: 246±53 seconds, p=0.0106). Additionally, a significant difference between the VOD and control groups was observed in days +14 to +21 (control: LT 234±50 seconds, p=0.0299). For the time points of day 0 to +6 and day +7 and +13 after HSCT lysis time was also prolonged in VOD patients, but without statistical significance (LT: d0 to +6: VOD: 304±57 seconds; HSCT: 251±67 seconds, p=0.06; d+7 to +13: VOD: 278±34 seconds; HSCT: 255±70 seconds, p=0.12). It was observed that LT correlated positively with weight gain (>5%), progredient hepatomegaly, right upper quadrant pain and reduced portal venous flow velocity (d0 to d+6: weight gain: r=0.31, p=0.0351; pain: r=0.44, p=0.0018; hepatomegaly: r=0.37, p=0.0108; d+7 to +13: pain: r=0.35, p=0.0143; hepatomegaly: r=0.39, p=0.0058; d+14 to d+21: weight gain: r=0.42, p=0.0035; pain: r=0.37, p=0.0103; hepatomegaly: r=0.44, p=0.0020; reduced portal venous flow velocity: r=0.35, p= 0.0167).

4. Conclusions

The results suggest that HSCT patients and patients diagnosed with VOD show signs of hypofibrinolysis. Fibrinolysis can be assessed in a rapid and accessible way via thrombelastography. Therefore, thrombelastography might be a useful tool to facilitate early diagnosis of VOD and to identify high-risk patients. Larger studies are needed to determine specific cut-off-values.

Stefanie Hammer and Michaela Döring contributed equally to this work.


*signifies non-member of ASH