Multicenter Experience of Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation in WHIM Syndrome

J Clin Immunol. 2022 Jan;42(1):171-182. doi: 10.1007/s10875-021-01155-8. Epub 2021 Oct 26.


Purpose: WHIM (warts, hypogammaglobulinemia, infections, and myelokathexis) syndrome is a rare disease, caused by CXCR4 gene mutations, which incorporates features of combined immunodeficiency, congenital neutropenia, and a predisposition to human papillomavirus infection. Established conventional treatment for WHIM syndrome does not fully prevent infectious complications in these patients. Only single case reports of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) efficacy in WHIM have been published.

Methods: To summarize current information on HSCT efficacy in disease treatment, seven pediatric patients with WHIM syndrome who underwent allogeneic HSCT were identified in five centers worldwide.

Results: All patients presented early after birth with neutropenia. Two of seven patients exhibited severe disease complications: poorly controlled autoimmunity (arthritis and anemia) in one and progressive myelofibrosis with recurrent infections in the other. The remaining patients received HSCT to correct milder disease symptoms (recurrent respiratory infections, progressing thrombocytopenia) and/or to preclude severe disease course in older age. All seven patients engrafted but one developed graft rejection and died of infectious complications after third HSCT. Three other patients experienced severe viral infections after HSCT (including post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease in one) which completely resolved with therapy. At last follow-up (median 6.7 years), all six surviving patients were alive with full donor chimerism. One patient 1.4 years after HSCT had moderate thrombocytopenia and delayed immune recovery; the others had adequate immune recovery and were free of prior disease symptoms.

Conclusion: HSCT in WHIM syndrome corrects neutropenia and immunodeficiency, and leads to resolution of autoimmunity and recurrent infections, including warts.

Keywords: WHIM syndrome; congenital neutropenia; hematopoietic stem cell transplantation; human papillomavirus; primary immunodeficiency; warts.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation*
  • Humans
  • Neutropenia* / complications
  • Neutropenia* / therapy
  • Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases
  • Receptors, CXCR4 / genetics
  • Warts* / diagnosis
  • Warts* / genetics
  • Warts* / therapy


  • Receptors, CXCR4

Supplementary concepts

  • WHIM syndrome