Prospective Clinical and Biomarker Validation of the American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy Consensus Definition for Transplantation-Associated Thrombotic Microangiopathy

Transplant Cell Ther. 2023 Nov;29(11):685.e1-685.e7. doi: 10.1016/j.jtct.2023.08.015. Epub 2023 Aug 18.


Transplantation-associated thrombotic microangiography (TA-TMA) is a disorder that causes severe complications after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT). Diagnosing TA-TMA is challenging because of the lack of standardized criteria. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the new TA-TMA consensus definition from the American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy (ASTCT) panel as part of an ongoing prospective pediatric cohort study, and also to compare the impact and outcomes of using the current definition of clinical TMA (cTMA) versus the new consensus definition. We included patients age 0 to 18 years who underwent their first allo-HCT between May 2021 and January 2023 at Texas Children's Hospital. We compared the incidence, biomarkers, and outcomes of TA-TMA applying the previous and recently proposed screening algorithms and definitions. Whereas use of the classic microangiopathic hemolytic anemia (MAHA)-based cTMA definition led to an incidence of 12.7% by day 100 post-transplantation, the ASTCT-HR definition doubled the incidence to 28.5% by day 100. In contrast to patients with a concordant diagnosis (+/+), who had significantly worse post-transplantation survival, those reclassified as TA-TMA only by the new definition (-/+) had a significantly different prognosis (100% survival at day 100) despite the lack of TMA-directed therapy. Furthermore, biomarkers of the terminal and alternative complement pathways (sC5b9 and Ba, respectively) were significantly elevated compared with non-TMA patients around day 15 in the concordant group (+/+) but not in the discordant group (-/+). The recently proposed ASTCT consensus TA-TMA diagnosis is more sensitive and allows earlier recognition of manifestation that requires closer clinical monitoring but risks overdiagnosis and overtreatment. We recommend additional prospective validation.

Keywords: Biomarkers; Diagnosis; Survival; Thrombotic microangiopathies.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Biomarkers
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Consensus
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Prognosis
  • Thrombotic Microangiopathies* / diagnosis
  • Thrombotic Microangiopathies* / epidemiology
  • Thrombotic Microangiopathies* / etiology


  • Biomarkers