Long-term health impacts of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation inform recommendations for follow-up

Expert Rev Hematol. 2011 Aug;4(4):437-52; quiz 453-4. doi: 10.1586/ehm.11.39.


Advances in transplantation techniques and supportive care strategies have resulted in a significant improvement in survival of those who have undergone treatment. However, hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) survivors are at risk of developing long-term complications, such as endocrinopathies, musculoskeletal disorders, cardiopulmonary compromise and subsequent malignancies. These complications have a direct impact on the morbidity and mortality experienced by HSCT survivors. Two-thirds of HSCT survivors develop at least one chronic health condition; while a fifth develop severe or life-threatening conditions. HSCT patients who have survived for at least 5 years post-transplantation are at a fourfold to ninefold increased risk of late mortality for as long as 30 years from HSCT, producing an estimated 30% lower life expectancy compared with the general population. The high burden of morbidity experienced by HSCT survivors makes it critically important that there is standardized follow-up of HSCT survivors at high risk for post-HSCT complications. The Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research/European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation/American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation and the Children's Oncology Group long-term follow-up guidelines offer such standardized care. Future steps include wider dissemination and refinement of these guidelines.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation / methods
  • Humans
  • Survivors