Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) as therapy for hepatotoxicity following bone marrow transplantation

J. R. Schriber, B. Milk, D. Shaw, N. Christiansen, M. Baer, J. Slack, H. Tezcan, M. Wetzler, G. Herzig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


The treatment of established veno-occlusive disease (VOD) of the liver with tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) has been disappointing. In attempts to improve upon these results we identified a subgroup of patients with consistently elevated bilirubin levels who did not meet conventional criteria for VOD (Susp VOD) but who had a significant risk of later developing clinical VOD. In January 1994 we began to treat patients who developed Susp VOD with tPA rather than waiting until they developed clinical VOD. We now report on the results of the first 37 patients who ultimately developed clinical VOD and received tPA therapy prior to Susp VOD, or at the time they had established VOD. Significant bleeding complications occurred in 13 (35) patients but resolved with discontinuation of therapy in all but one. We found that patients treated early in the course of hepatotoxicity prior to the development of overt VOD had a significantly higher response rate and 100 day survival than patients treated at the time of established VOD. Given the poor results seen in treating late VOD, we suggest that early treatment with tPA may improve the outcome in patients who develop signs of hepatotoxicity following marrow transplantation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1311-1314
Number of pages4
JournalBone Marrow Transplantation
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1999


  • Bone marrow transplant
  • Hepatotoxicity
  • Tissue plasminogen activator

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Transplantation


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