Background: The lack of an accepted definition of transplantation-associated thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA) has led the Blood and Marrow Transplants Clinical Trials Network (CTN) and International Working Group (IWG) to propose a definition for TMA with some differences. However, there have been few studies validating and comparing both newly proposed criteria for TMA.
Methods: To validate recently proposed criteria for TMA by CTN and IWG, we analyzed 672 patients who underwent allogeneic stem-cell transplantation between January 2002 and December 2006.
Results: The cumulative incidences of TMA by CTN and IWG were 6.1% and 2.5%, respectively. The cumulative incidence of overall TMA (O-TMA) including probable-TMA defined as meeting CTN criteria without renal or neurologic dysfunction, as well as TMA by CTN (definite-TMA), was 12.7%. Sixty-six percent of TMA by CTN did not have any degree of schistocytosis by IWG criteria (≥4%), and 18% of TMA by IWG criteria did not have renal or neurologic dysfunction. On multivariate analyses, probable-TMA as well as definite-TMA adversely affected the survival of a cohort including all patients. In patients with O-TMA, the degree of schistocytosis (≥4% or not) failed to show prognostic significance, whereas renal involvement was a significant prognostic factor associated with poor survival.
Conclusions: Both proposed consensus criteria have major pitfalls in their use as uniformly accepted diagnostic criteria for TMA. The use of O-TMA as a broad definition for TMA and the grading system by the presence of renal involvement may be a counterproposal for future trials.