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Potential value of autoantibodies as biomarkers of chronic graft-versus-host disease after allogeneic stem cell transplantation.

Abstract

We investigated the value of autoantibodies as biomarkers of chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD) by analyzing the autoantibody profiles of 65 patients (34 cGVHD and 31 non-cGVHD) surviving longer than three months after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT). Autoantibodies to at least one antigen were detected in 45 patients (70.8%), with multiple autoantibodies detected in 30 patients (46.2%). Antinuclear antibodies (ANAs) were the most frequently detected autoantibodies, with a significantly higher prevalence in non-cGVHD patients and cGVHD patients than that in healthy controls (HCs). ANA-nucleolar (ANA-N) was the main immunofluorescence pattern of ANA-positivity in both the non-cGVHD and cGVHD groups. There was a higher prevalence of anti-Ro52-positivity in non-cGVHD and cGVHD patients than in HC. Liver cGVHD was significantly associated with anti-Ro52-positivity. However, cGVHD activity and severity were not associated with the presence of autoantibodies. Similarly, there were no significant differences in overall survival or relapse among the four groups of patients expressing autoantibodies. Our results suggest that autoantibodies have limited value in predicting cGVHD.

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