Malglycemia is associated with poor outcomes in pediatric and adolescent hematopoietic stem cell transplant patients

Blood Adv. 2019 Feb 12;3(3):350-359. doi: 10.1182/bloodadvances.2018021014.


Malglycemia (hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia, and/or glycemic variability) in adult hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) recipients is associated with increased infection, graft-versus-host disease, organ dysfunction, delayed engraftment, and mortality. Malglycemia has not been studied in pediatric HSCT recipients. This study aimed to characterize the incidence and consequences of malglycemia in this population. Medical records for a cohort of 344 patients, age 0 to 30 years, who underwent first HSCT from 2007 to 2016 at Children's Hospital Colorado were retrospectively reviewed. Glucose data were analyzed in intervals and assessed for potential risk factors and associated outcomes. Malglycemia occurred in 43.9% of patients. Patients with a day 0 to 100 mean glucose of 100 to 124 mg/dL had a 1.76-fold (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.10-2.82; P = .02) increased risk of death and patients with a day 0 to 100 mean glucose ≥ 125 mg/dL had a 7.06-fold (95% CI, 3.84-12.99; P < .0001) increased risk of death compared with patients with a day 0 to 100 mean glucose < 100 mg/dL. For each 10 mg/dL increase in pre-HSCT glucose, there was a 1.11-fold (95% CI, 1.04-1.18; P = .0013) increased risk of post-HSCT infection. These adverse impacts of malglycemia occurred independent of transplant type, graft-versus-host disease, and steroid therapy. Malglycemia in the pediatric HSCT population is independently associated with significantly increased risk of morbidity and mortality. Further research is required to evaluate the utility of glucose control to mitigate these relationships and improve HSCT outcomes. This trial was registered at as #NCT03482154.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Hyperglycemia / etiology*
  • Hyperglycemia / pathology
  • Hypoglycemia / etiology*
  • Hypoglycemia / pathology
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Transplantation Conditioning / adverse effects*
  • Treatment Outcome

Associated data