To explore the relationship between plasma sST2/Reg3α levels and acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) in children after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT).
The clinical data of 29 pediatric patients received allo-HSCT treatment in Department of Hematology and Oncology of Wuhan Children’s Hospital from January 2019 to January 2020 were collected. Peripheral blood samples were collected at 14 and 28 day after allo-HSCT. The plasma concentrations of sST2 and Reg3α were detected by Luminex assay.
Among 29 patients there were 15 males and 14 females with a median age of 53 (29-117) months. After allo-HSCT, 18 patients developed grade 0-I aGVHD; while 11 patients developed grade II-IV aGVHD. These included skin aGVHD in 6 cases, gastrointestinal aGVHD (GI-aGVHD) in 3 cases and gastrointestinal/skin aGVHD in 5 cases. Plasma sST2 level in II-IV aGVHD group showed significantly higher than that in 0-I aGVHD group at 28 days after allo-HSCT [101.81 (73.94-150.77) ng/ml vs 48.97 (28.82-56.69) ng/ml, P=0.021]. Also, the plasma sST2 level was significantly higher in GI-aGVHD group than that in no-aGVHD group at 28 days after allo-HSCT [118.74 (87.00-243.36) ng/ml vs 48.97 (23.55-61.40) ng/ml, P=0.004]. Plasma sST2 level ≥65.34 ng/ml at 28 days after allo-HSCT showed a sensitivity of 85.7% and a specificity of 87.5% in predicting II-IV aGVHD. And the patients with a plasma sST2 level ≥65.34 ng/ml showed a significantly higher incidence of II-IV aGVHD than those with plasma sST2 level of < 65.34 ng/ml after allo-HSCT (P=0.021). There was no significant difference in plasma Reg3α level between the patients with II-IV aGVHD and the non-aGVHD ones.
The increasing plasma sST2 level after allo-HSCT in children indicates the development of II-IV aGVHD, so sST2 is promising as a biomarker for predicting II-IV aGVHD.