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HSCT patients at high risk of developing vitiligo

05 Mar 2017

Patients who underwent haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) develop vitiligo at a significantly higher rate than controls, according to a new study. Moreover, allogeneic HSCT and bone marrow-sourced stem cells are independently tied to increased risk of developing vitiligo after HSCT.

Researchers conducted a nationwide, population-based cohort study using the Korean National Health Insurance Claims Database from 2009 to 2013 to assess the incidence and risk factors of subsequent vitiligo after HSCT.

Included in the HSCT recipient group (n=2,747) were those who had undergone the procedure between 2010 and 2011, as well as those who had not undergone treatment for vitiligo in 2009 (to exclude pre-existing active vitiligo). Also, an age- and sex-matched control group (n=8,241) without HSCT was established.

Between 2010 and 2013, 1.06 percent of patients in the HSCT recipient group had newly acquired vitiligo. Additionally, a significant increase in vitiligo cases was seen in HSCT recipients (odds ratio [OR], 3.130; 95 percent CI, 1.859 to 5.271) compared with controls (0.34 percent).

Allogeneic HSCT (OR, 5.593; 1.628 to 19.213) and bone marrow-sources stem cells (as compared with peripheral blood-sources stem cells; OR, 2.942; 1.114 to 5.576) were independent risk factors of vitiligo occurrence after HSCT.

In a different study, recipients of allogeneic HSCT were found to have an elevated risk of developing basal cell carcinoma (hazard ratio [HR], 3.1; 1.9 to 5.2), squamous cell carcinoma (HR, 18.3; 4.1 to 81.8) and malignant melanoma (HR, 5.5; 1.7 to 17.1). This finding highlighted the need for dermatologic follow-up in HSCT recipients. [JAMA Dermatol 2016 ;152:177-83]

The current study was limited by the unavailability of medical record review, according to researchers.

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