Conference Coverage

Ultrasound method predicts liver complications in pediatric transplant



– An ultrasound method for assessing liver stiffness might be useful for predicting which pediatric patients will develop a life-threatening complication of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

Dr. Sherwin S. Chan of the University of Missouri, Kansas City Andrew D. Bowser/MDedge News

Dr. Sherwin S. Chan

Shear wave elastography values predicted severe hepatic sinusoidal obstruction syndrome/veno-occlusive disease (SOS/VOD) at least 4 days before standard diagnostic criteria in most patients treated in a small, prospective, two-center study, Sherwin S. Chan, MD, PhD, said at the Transplantation & Cellular Therapy Meetings.

Early identification of SOS/VOD using elastography could be beneficial in light of data showing that timing is critical in the administration of defibrotide, a treatment recommended for severe and very severe patients, according to Dr. Chan, vice chair of radiology for the University of Missouri at Kansas City.

“If you’re able to initiate it early, you can really increase day 100 survival,” Dr. Chan said in an oral presentation.

The data presented included 54 pediatric patients undergoing transplantation at one of two institutions.

At one site, the patients underwent shear wave elastography evaluation 10 days before the conditioning regimen began, and again at 5 and 14 days after the transplant. At the other site, patients with suspected SOS/VOD were enrolled and underwent elastography every other day for up to 10 exams.

Those are very different imaging protocols, Dr. Chan acknowledged in his presentation, noting that the studies started independently and data were pooled as investigators at the two institutions became aware of one another’s work.

A total of 16 patients, or 30%, developed SOS/VOD, Dr. Chan reported. Of those 16 cases, 12 (75%) were severe or very severe by the recent European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (EBMT) criteria.

Increased shear wave elastography velocity was the best predictor of severe SOS/VOD, according to Dr. Chan, with a cutoff value of 1.65 m/s being 92% sensitive and 67% specific for severe SOS/VOD.

That threshold was passed at least 4 days before severe grading or death in 9 out of the 12 severe cases, he added.

Accordingly, a prospective, multicenter trial has been initiated at a number of U.S. centers to investigate whether the findings of this study are generalizable to other patient populations, Dr. Chan said at the meeting held by the American Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation and the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research. At this meeting, the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation announced a new name for the society: American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy.

That prospective, multicenter trial is supported by Jazz Pharmaceuticals, according to Dr. Chan, who reported consulting with Jazz Pharmaceuticals in his disclosure statement.

SOURCE: Chan SS et al. TCT 2019, Abstract 55.

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