Mismatch between bone marrow transplant (BMT) patient and donor for an amino acid polymorphism within the adhesion molecule CD31 has recently been reported to increase risk for the development of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). We further examined this association in a larger series of 301 BMT patients (227 with grade III/IV GVHD and 74 with grade 0 GVHD) and their HLA-identical sibling donors. CD31 genotypes were determined by polymerase chain reaction and restriction endonuclease digestion. The role of mismatch at the CD31 locus in the development of GVHD was assessed by analyzing the extent of CD31 identity and CD31 compatibility among the grade 0 GVHD and grade III/IV GVHD sibling pairs. No significant association between CD31 mismatch and the development of severe GVHD was detected in our overall patient population. Sixty-three percent of grade III/IV GVHD sibling pairs and 69% of grade 0 GVHD sibling pairs had CD31 genotypes that were identical (P=.36, odds ratio = 1.30). In addition, neither the grade 0 GVHD group (P=.10) nor the grade III/IV GVHD group (P=.27) differed significantly from the expected probability of identity between sibling pairs. Mismatch at the CD31 polymorphism between recipients and donors showed no consistent association with the development of GVHD. Current evidence does not support the value of CD31 mismatch in the selection of BMT donors.

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