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Evaluation of C-reactive protein, interleukin-6, and procalcitonin levels in allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell recipients

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Pihusch M, Pihusch R, Fraunberger P, Pihusch V, Andreesen R, Kolb H-J, Holler E. Evaluation of C-reactive protein, interleukin-6, and procalcitonin levels in allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell recipients.
Eur J Haematol 2005: 75: 1–9. © Blackwell Munksgaard 2005. Abstract: 

Background: Prompt detection of transplant-related complications (TRC) as infections, acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD), microangiopathic hemolytic anemia, or veno-occlusive disease following allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is essential.Patients and methods: We conducted a prospective trial on clinical significance of C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin-6 (IL-6) and procalcitonin (PCT) serum levels in TRC. A total of 350 stem cell recipients were admitted. CRP, IL-6 and PCT were analyzed prior to conditioning and weekly until 8 wk after HSCT. TRC were recorded weekly throughout the study.Results: CRP (4.4 mg/dL vs. 12.8 mg/dL; P < 0.001), IL-6 (93 ng/mL vs. 1.138 ng/mL; P < 0.001) and PCT (0.8 ng/dL vs. 5.7 ng/dL; P < 0.001) were increased in infectious complications. Only PCT differentiated between infection and other TRC. Exclusive aGVHD did not increase CRP (4.4 mg/dL vs. 5.7 mg/dL; n.s.), IL-6 (93 ng/mL vs. 153 ng/mL; n.s.) and PCT (0.8 ng/dL vs. 0.8 ng/dL; n.s.). CRP (6.1 mg/dL vs. 3.1 mg/dL; P < 0.001) and IL-6 (295 ng/mL vs. 122 ng/mL; P = 0.001) were decreased during steroid therapy, but not PCT (2.3 ng/dL vs. 2.0 ng/dL; n.s.).Conclusion: Our study confirmed CRP, IL-6 and PCT serum levels as helpful markers for TRC. PCT can differentiate infection from GVHD despite steroid therapy. Further trials are needed focusing on the identification of patients who benefit from early risk stratification.
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Keywords: C-reactive protein; hematopoietic stem cell transplantation; interleukin-6; procalcitonin

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Abteilung fuer Haematologie und Internistische Onkologie, Klinikum der Universitaet Regensburg, Regensburg 2: Medizinische Klinik III – Grosshadern 3: Institut fuer Klinische Chemie – Grosshadern, Klinikum der Ludwig Maximilians-Universitaet Muenchen, Marchioninistrasse 15, 81377 Muenchen

Publication date: February 1, 2006

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