Blood Journal
Leading the way in experimental and clinical research in hematology

Growth and development following marrow transplantation for leukemia

  1. JE Sanders,
  2. S Pritchard,
  3. P Mahoney,
  4. D Amos,
  5. CD Buckner,
  6. RP Witherspoon,
  7. HJ Deeg,
  8. KC Doney,
  9. KM Sullivan, and
  10. FR Appelbaum

Abstract

One hundred forty-two patients between the ages of 1 and 17 years who survived disease-free more than 1 year after marrow transplantation for hematologic malignancy had growth and development evaluations from one to 14 years posttransplant (median 4 years). Prior to transplant all children received multiagent chemotherapy and 55 also received central nervous system irradiation, but none had growth and development evaluations. Marrow transplant preparation included high-dose chemotherapy and total body irradiation (TBI) given as a single dose of 9.2 to 10.0 Gy (79 patients) or as fractionated doses of 2.0 to 2.25 Gy/d for six to seven days (63 patients). After transplant abnormal thyroid function was present in 39%. Stimulated 11-desoxycortisol levels were subnormal in 24% of patients evaluated. Growth hormone (GH) deficiency was present in 17 of 25 children who received previous cranial irradiation. Partial GH deficiency was present in 4 of 25 who received previous cranial irradiation and in 6 of 18 who had not received cranial irradiation. Height velocity was decreased in all patients. After transplant, height was significantly influenced by chronic graft-v-host disease and single-dose TBI. Sixty-eight percent had delayed development of secondary sexual characteristics. Gonadal failure occurred in nearly all who were postpubertal at transplant. While it is not possible to determine how many of these endocrine abnormalities occurred as a result of treatment administered prior to transplantation, these data do demonstrate that children who become long-term survivors after marrow transplantation for hematologic malignancy have endocrine abnormalities that adversely affect growth and development.