Central and peripheral nervous system immune mediated demyelinating disease after allogeneic hemopoietic stem cell transplantation for hematologic disease Academic Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Central Nervous System
  • Demyelinating Diseases
  • Graft vs Host Disease
  • Hematologic Neoplasms
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation
  • Peripheral Nervous System


  • Immune mediated demyelinating disease (IMDD) after allogeneic hemopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) is rare and its etiology unclear. In this retrospective study, we identified patients who underwent HSCT between January 1992 and December 2010 and had IMDD post transplant. A total of 1,484 patients received HSCT and 7 (0.5 %) suffered from IMDD; five were men, and the median age was 54 years (range, 29-64 years). HSCT treated acute myeloid leukemia (n = 5), myelodysplastic syndrome (n = 1), and Waldenström macroglobulinemia (n = 1). All received an HLA matched donor graft, related (6), unrelated (1); from the bone marrow (1), peripheral blood stem cell (6); and T-cell depleted, ex vivo (6) or in vivo (1). The median time from transplant to neurologic symptoms was 120 days (range, 60-390 days). Three had acute demyelinating encephalomyelitis (ADEM), three acute inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculopathy (AIDP) and one autonomic neuropathy. Four of six patients tested had hemopoietic mixed chimerism prior to neurologic symptoms and low CD4(+) T-cell counts, median 76 (15-500 cells/μL). Two patients had simultaneous systemic graft versus host disease (GVHD). Two patients with ADEM had a spinal cord or brain biopsy which revealed demyelination. No patients had a viral etiology identified in the cerebrospinal fluid. Patients were treated with IV immunoglobulin, high dose steroids and/or rituximab. Five patients had a significant recovery. Response to immune modulators suggests an immune-based etiology. The incidence of de novo autoimmune disease after HSCT for hematological diseases is rare and may be difficult to differentiate from GVHD.

publication date

  • November 2012



  • Academic Article



  • eng

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s11060-012-0962-9

PubMed ID

  • 22915190

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 251

end page

  • 6


  • 110


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