Adjusting diffusing capacity for anemia in patients undergoing allogeneic HCT: a comparison of two methodologies

Hemang Yadav, Mehrdad Hefazi Torghabeh, Sumedh S. Hoskote, Kelly M. Pennington, Kaiser G. Lim, Paul D. Scanlon, Alexander S. Niven, William J. Hogan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Diffusing capacity (DLCO) measurements are affected by hemoglobin. Two adjustment equations are used: Cotes (recommended by ATS/ERS) and Dinakara (used in the hematopoietic stem cell transplantation comorbidity index [HCT-CI]). It is unknown how these methods compare, and which is better from a prognostication standpoint. Study design: This is a retrospective cohort of 1273 adult patients who underwent allogeneic HCT, completed a pre-transplant DLCO and had a concurrent hemoglobin measurement. Non-relapse mortality was measured using competing risk analysis. Results: Patients had normal spirometry (FEV1 99.7% [IQR: 89.4–109.8%; FVC 100.1% [IQR: 91.0-109.6%] predicted), left ventricular ejection fraction (57.2[6.7]%) and right ventricular systolic pressure (30.1[7.0] mmHg). Cotes-DLCO was 85.6% (IQR: 76.5-95.7%) and Dinakara-DLCO was 103.6% (IQR: 90.7-117.2%) predicted. For anemic patients (Hb<10g/dL), Cotes-DLCO was 84.2% (IQR: 73.9–94.1%) while Dinakara-DLCO 111.0% (97.3–124.7%) predicted. Cotes-DLCO increased HCT-CI score for 323 (25.4%) and decreased for 4 (0.3%) patients. Cotes-DLCO was superior for predicting non-relapse mortality: for both mild (66-80% predicted, HR 1.55 [95%CI: 1.26-1.92, p < 0.001]) and moderate (<65% predicted, HR 2.11 [95%CI: 1.55-2.87, p<0.001]) impairment. In contrast, for Dinakara-DLCO, only mild impairment (HR 1.69 [95%CI 1.26-2.27, p < 0.001]) was associated with lower survival while moderate impairment was not (HR 1.44 [95%CI: 0.64-3.21, p = 0.4]). In multivariable analyses, after adjusting for demographics, hematologic variables, cardiac function and FEV1, Cotes-DLCO was predictive of overall survival at 1-year (OR 0.98 [95%CI: 0.97-1.00], p = 0.01), but Dinakara-DLCO was not (OR 1.00 [95%CI: 0.98-1.00], p = 0.20). Conclusion: The ERS/ATS recommended Cotes method likely underestimates DLCO in patients with anemia, whereas the Dinakara (used in the HCT-CI score) overestimates DLCO. The Cotes method is superior to the Dinakara method score in predicting overall survival and relapse-free survival in patients undergoing allogeneic HCT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103432
JournalCurrent Research in Translational Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2024


  • Anemia
  • Bone marrow transplant
  • DLCO
  • Diffusing capacity
  • HCT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Oncology
  • Transplantation
  • Infectious Diseases


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