Trajectories of acute graft-versus-host disease and mortality in critically ill allogeneic-hematopoietic stem cell recipients: the Allo-GRRR-OH score

Bone Marrow Transplant. 2020 Oct;55(10):1966-1974. doi: 10.1038/s41409-020-0857-x. Epub 2020 Mar 17.


Acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) is a major cause of morbidity mortality in critically ill hematopoietic stem cell transplantation recipients. We assessed aGVHD trajectories in 191 allogeneic-HSCT recipients (age 42 (27-46)) admitted to our ICU between 2005 and 2015. aGVHD affected 130 (68%) patients (including 90% who underwent steroid therapy at a dose of 2 (2-2) mg/kg) and was graded 3 or 4 in 31% of the patients. Trajectories of aGVHD were clustered in four groups: (1) no aGVHD, (2) controlled aGVHD, (3) uncontrolled aGVHD (active, stable, or worsening), and (4) newly diagnosed and untreated aGVHD. Patients with controlled aGVHD and those admitted at the onset of aGVHD had similar survival than patients who never experienced aGVHD. By multivariable analysis, the dynamic assessment of aGVHD was independently associated with 90-day mortality, in addition to the admission to the ICU for acute respiratory failure, acute kidney injury or acute liver failure, and sepsis-related organ failure assessment score at admission. In conclusion, these findings suggest that GVHD cannot be assessed as a binary variable and at a single time point. Patients in whom GVHD is not uncontrolled with corticosteroids should have the same goals of ICU care than patients without GVHD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adult
  • Critical Illness*
  • Graft vs Host Disease* / etiology
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation* / adverse effects
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans