Early reversal of the lymphocyte-to-monocyte ratio after allogeneic-hematopoietic stem cell transplantation is associated with reduced relapse and improved prognosis

Clin Transplant. 2023 Dec;37(12):e15116. doi: 10.1111/ctr.15116. Epub 2023 Aug 29.


Background: The early recovery of lymphocyte and monocyte cells is associated with a favorable prognosis after allogeneic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT); however, it is not clear whether the balance of lymphocyte and monocyte recovery affects the post-transplant prognosis.

Methods: We examined whether the time-point at which the number of lymphocytes exceeded the number of monocytes, which we termed lymphocyte-to-monocyte ratio reversal (LMRR), affected the prognosis after allo-HSCT. We retrospectively evaluated 235 patients who underwent their first allo-HSCT at our institution.

Results: The median number of days from HSCT to LMRR was 46 (range, 0-214), and the patients were divided into two groups according to the occurrence of LMRR by day 45 (LMRR45). In a multivariate analysis, early LMRR contributed favorably to overall survival (hazard ratio [HR] .519; 95% confidence interval [CI] .332-.812; p = .004) with fewer post-transplant relapses (HR .462; 95% CI, .274-.777; p = .004). Differences in the timing of LMRR did not affect non-relapse mortality (HR 1.477; 95% CI .779-2.80; p = .23) or the incidence of grade II-IV acute GVHD (LMRR45(+): 25.0% vs. LMRR45(-) 35.2%. p = .111). In subgroup analyses, LMRR45(+) was found to be a favorable factor for survival with less relapse, regardless of the disease risk, stem cell source, or the recovery of either lymphocyte or monocyte counts.

Conclusions: An early LMRR may be a novel factor that is associated with reduced relapse and improved survival after allo-HSCT.

Keywords: allogeneic stem cell transplantation; lymphocyte-to-monocyte ratio reversal; recovery of lymphocyte counts; recovery of monocyte counts.

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease
  • Graft vs Host Disease* / diagnosis
  • Graft vs Host Disease* / etiology
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation* / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Lymphocytes
  • Monocytes
  • Prognosis
  • Recurrence
  • Retrospective Studies