Introduction

Transplant-associated thrombotic microangiopathy (TA-TMA) is a potentially life-threatening complication of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT), which can result in multiorgan injury and increased risk for mortality. Renewed interest has emerged in the prognostication of TA-TMA with the development of novel diagnostic and management algorithms. Our previous study reported an adverse outcome in patients with TA-TMA and concomitant acute graft-versus-host disease (Eur J Haematol, 2018). However, information on markers for the early identification of severe cases remains limited. Therefore, this study is concentrated on the development and validation of a prognostic model for TA-TMA, which might facilitate risk stratification and contribute to individualized management.

Methods

Patients receiving allo-HSCT in Peking University People's Hospital with 1) a diagnosis of microangiopathic hemolytic anemia (MAHA) or 2) evidence of microangiopathy were retrospectively identified from 2010 to 2018. The diagnosis of TA-TMA was reviewed according to the Overall-TMA criteria (Transplantation, 2010). Patients without fulfillment of the diagnostic criteria or complicated with other causes of MAHA were excluded from analysis. Prognostic factors for TA-TMA were determined among patients receiving HSCT between 2010 and 2014 (derivation cohort). Candidate predictors (univariate P < 0.1) were included in the multivariate analysis using a backward stepwise logistic regression model. A risk score model was then established according to the regression coefficient of each independent prognostic factor. The performance of this predictive model was evaluated through internal validation (bootstrap method with 1000 repetitions) and external temporal validation performed on data from those who received HSCT between 2015 and 2018 (validation cohort).

Results

5337 patients underwent allo-HSCT at Peking University Institute of Hematology from 2010 to 2018. A total of 1255 patients with a diagnosis of MAHA and/or evidence of microangiopathy were retrospectively identified, among whom 493 patients met the inclusion criteria for this analysis (269 in the derivation cohort and 224 in the validation cohort). The median age at the time of TA-TMA diagnosis was 28 (IQR: 17-41) years. The median duration from the time of transplantation to the diagnosis of TA-TMA was 63 (IQR: 38-121) days. The 6-month overall survival rate was 42.2% (208/493), and the 1-year overall survival rate was 45.0% (222/493).

In the derivation cohort, patient age (≥35 years), anemia (hemoglobin <70 g/L), severe thrombocytopenia (platelet count <15,000/μL), elevated lactic dehydrogenase (serum LDH >800 U/L) and elevated total bilirubin (TBIL >1.5*ULN) were identified by multivariate analysis as independent prognostic factors for the 6-month outcome of TA-TMA. A risk score model was constructed according to the regression coefficients (Table 1), and patients were stratified into a low-risk group (0-1 points), an intermediate-risk group (2-4 points) and a high-risk group (5-6 points). The Kaplan-Meier estimations of overall survival separated well between these risk groups (Figure 1). The prognostic model showed significant discriminatory capacity, with a cross-validated c-index of 0.770 (95%CI, 0.714-0.826) in the internal validation and 0.768 (95%CI, 0.707-0.829) in the external validation cohort. The calibration plots also indicated a good correlation between model-predicted and observed probabilities.

Conclusions

A prognostic model for TA-TMA incorporating several baseline laboratory factors was developed and evaluated, which demonstrated significant predictive capacity through internal and external validation. This predictive model might facilitate prognostication of TA-TMA and contribute to early identification of patients at higher risk for adverse outcomes. Further study may focus on whether these high-risk patients could benefit from early application of specific management.

Disclosures

No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.

Author notes

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Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.