Neurological complications occur at a high frequency after hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). However, an absence is noted in the published literature as regards the quantification of the exact burden and the outcomes thereof. In this systematic review, we endeavored to detail if the recipients of HCT developed any noninfectious neurological events/complications.
According to the PICO criteria, medical literature was searched. Complications that were evaluated included: stroke, peripheral neuropathy, myasthenia gravis, seizures, and posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome. After strictly defining relevant variables and parameters, data from 173 eligible articles were then extracted accordingly, from the full text for each, for quantitative analysis; additionally, two American Society of Hematology conference abstracts were also subject to data extraction.
As is evident from the results of the data analysis, an increased frequency of these complications was seen in the HCT recipient population in comparison to the general population. The relative risk ranged from 1.33× to 142× depending on the complication studied.
These findings demonstrate that the recipients of HCT had a significantly higher risk of neurological complications and that their early recognition can enhance the monitoring of HCT survivors for the early developmental signs of neurological toxicity. This would facilitate timely interventions, thus ensuring a better quality of life.
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