Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor-induced capillary leak syndrome confirmed by extravascular lung water measurements

Ann Hematol. 2005 Feb;84(2):89-94. doi: 10.1007/s00277-004-0946-8. Epub 2004 Sep 10.


The study purpose was to report the first case of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF)-induced capillary leak syndrome (CLS) in which serial extravascular lung water (EVLW) measurements were performed and to compare this case with previously reported cases. To identify previously reported cases, we performed a literature search, using PubMed with the following search terms: CLS, EVLW, G-CSF, granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) and stem cell transplantation and the references in the bibliographies of the papers retrieved. To obtain additional information about these cases, we contacted the authors by e-mail. We describe the case of a 68-year-old woman who developed severe CLS during G-CSF treatment after autologous haematological stem cell transplantation. CLS is caused by damage to the endothelial cells, resulting in extravasation of plasma proteins and fluid from the capillaries into the extravascular space. This is illustrated by high values of EVLW and pulmonary vascular permeability, necessitating mechanical ventilation. We found five other case reports in the literature. The white blood cell count at the onset of the CLS varied from very low (zero) to very high (90,500/mul). The symptoms began on day 5-9 of the G-CSF treatment. All patients had fever. Three patients were mechanically ventilated and four received renal replacement therapy. Two patients died. Treatment with G-CSF can induce fatal CLS. Monitoring of EVLW in patients with severe CLS may be useful to guide fluid therapy and improve oxygenation.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / therapeutic use
  • Aged
  • Capillary Leak Syndrome / chemically induced*
  • Extravascular Lung Water*
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Female
  • Fever
  • Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor / adverse effects*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Hypoxia
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell / complications
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell / therapy
  • Transplantation, Autologous / adverse effects


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor