Late effects of blood and marrow transplantation

Haematologica. 2017 Apr;102(4):614-625. doi: 10.3324/haematol.2016.150250. Epub 2017 Feb 23.


Hematopoietic cell transplantation is a curative treatment for a variety of hematologic diseases. Advances in transplantation technology have reduced early transplant-related mortality and expanded application of transplantation to older patients and to a wider variety of diseases. Management of late effects after transplantation is increasingly important for a growing number of long-term survivors that is estimated to be half a million worldwide. Many studies have shown that transplant survivors suffer from significant late effects that adversely affect morbidity, mortality, working status and quality of life. Late effects include diseases of the cardiovascular, pulmonary, and endocrine systems, dysfunction of the thyroid gland, gonads, liver and kidneys, infertility, iron overload, bone diseases, infection, solid cancer, and neuropsychological effects. The leading causes of late mortality include recurrent malignancy, lung diseases, infection, secondary cancers and chronic graft-versus-host disease. The aim of this review is to facilitate better care of adult transplant survivors by summarizing accumulated evidence, new insights, and practical information about individual late effects. Further research is needed to understand the biology of late effects allowing better prevention and treatment strategies to be developed.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bone Marrow Transplantation* / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Graft vs Host Disease / diagnosis
  • Graft vs Host Disease / etiology
  • Graft vs Host Disease / prevention & control
  • Hematologic Diseases / complications
  • Hematologic Diseases / epidemiology
  • Hematologic Diseases / therapy
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation* / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Postoperative Complications / diagnosis
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control
  • Survivors / statistics & numerical data*
  • Time Factors