New Tool Predicts Heart Risks After Bone Marrow Transplant – Critical Care

Researchers from Michigan Medicine have developed a new risk score for cardiovascular complications following bone marrow transplants. The study, conducted on over 3,300 patients from 2008 to 2019, found that 4.1% experienced cardiovascular events within 100 days post-transplant, and 13.9% experienced such events within five years. Atrial fibrillation and heart failure were the most common long-term conditions. The study also revealed that patients receiving bone marrow from a donor faced a higher risk of cardiovascular events than those who received their own stem cells. The researchers developed a risk score, called the CARE-BMT risk score, which was effective in predicting risk for both donor and self-derived transplant recipients. The score takes into account factors such as age, race, history of coronary artery disease or heart failure, and previous exposure to heart-damaging chemotherapy.

The risk score identified a high-risk group that represented over 30% of the study participants, with a rate of cardiovascular complications at five years of 31.9%, increasing to 55% at ten years. Patients with existing heart conditions, including diabetes and coronary artery disease, were found to have a higher chance of long-term complications. The researchers emphasized the importance of understanding the cardiovascular risks of modern bone marrow transplantation in order to select the appropriate patients and ensure optimal outcomes. This new risk score provides clinicians with a tool to assess a patient’s risk for cardiovascular complications, allowing for better decision-making in the pre-transplant process.


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