Biomarkers capable of predicting the onset and severity of acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) would enable preemptive and risk-stratified therapy. Severe aGVHD leads to gastrointestinal protein loss, resulting in hypoalbuminemia. We hypothesized that decreases in serum albumin at onset of aGVHD would predict the risk of progression to severe aGVHD. We identified 401 patients who developed aGVHD grades II-IV after reduced-intensity allogeneic HCT and reviewed all available serum albumin values from 30 days before HCT to 45 days after initiation of treatment for aGVHD. A =0.5 g/dL decrease in serum albumin concentration from pretransplantation baseline to the onset of treatment for aGVHD predicted the subsequent development of grade III/IV aGVHD (versus grade II aGVHD) with a sensitivity of 69% and a specificity of 73%. Overall mortality at 6 months after initiation of aGVHD treatment was 36% versus 17% for patients with and without =0.5 g/dL decreases in serum albumin, respectively (P = .0009). We conclude that change in serum albumin concentration from baseline to initiation of aGVHD treatment is an inexpensive, readily available, and predictive biomarker of GVHD severity and mortality after reduced-intensity allogeneic HCT.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.bbmt.2011.07.021
View details for Web of Science ID 000296829000006
View details for PubMedID 21806949