Allogeneic reactivity–mediated endothelial cell complications after HSCT: a plea for consensual definitions

Simona Pagliuca, David Michonneau, Flore Sicre de Fontbrune, Aurélien Sutra del Galy, Aliénor Xhaard, Marie Robin, Régis Peffault de Latour and Gérard Socie


Endothelial cell (EC) activation has been suspected of triggering a group of rare and dismal complications that can occur after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Capillary leak syndrome, engraftment syndrome, transplant-associated microangiopathy, diffuse alveolar hemorrhage, and idiopathic pneumonia syndrome are the main nosological entities. Post-HSCT endotheliitis can be triggered by chemotherapy, infections, and calcineurin inhibitors, but allogeneic reactivity is claimed to be the common denominator. Endothelial damages are thought to activate several deleterious pathways (proapoptotic, procoagulant, proinflammatory) and can lead to multiorgan failure; however, clinical manifestations of each syndrome overlap, and their relationship with graft-versus-host disease could be minimal. The lack of well-defined diagnostic criteria does not allow for a clear-cut comparison in the current literature. Therapeutic efforts have been made to intercept the pathogenic mechanisms leading to EC dysfunction, but remission rates and survival remain mostly unsatisfactory. In this article, we have reviewed the incidence, clinical features, and treatment approaches of EC activation syndromes, and we plead for the development of internationally accepted standard definitions.

  • Submitted March 11, 2019.
  • Accepted July 2, 2019.
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