Autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA) after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is still not well characterized. The aim of this study was to analyze the incidence and risk factors for the development of AIHA, as well as its prognosis and response to treatment in a series of patients undergoing allogeneic HSCT at a single institution. Between 1996 and 2004, 272 adult patients with a variety of malignant hematopoietic disorders underwent allogeneic HSCT. Direct antiglobulin testing was performed in routine pretransfusion compatibility testing or after clinical suspicion of AIHA. Twelve patients developed AIHA after HSCT at a median time of 147 days (range, 41-170). The 3-year cumulative incidence of AIHA was 4.44%. Eight cold antibodies and four warm antibodies were detected. Multivariate analysis shows that HSCT from unrelated donors (P = 0.02) and the development of chronic extensive graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) (P = 0.0004) were the only independent factors associated with AIHA. Two patients are still alive. AIHA was never the primary cause of death but added morbidity in patients with other concomitant complications. Patients undergoing HSCT from unrelated donors and those who develop chronic extensive GVHD are especially predisposed for this complication.
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