Acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) has various risk factors and outcomes. We defined distinct aGVHD treatment response groups based on response to first-line corticosteroids: Steroid sensitive (SS), steroid resistant (SR), and the rarely studied steroid dependent (SD) aGVHD. In 1143 consecutive adult and pediatric allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplant recipients, 385 (34%) developed aGVHD, with 10% having SS aGVHD, 9% SD aGVHD, and 14% SR aGVHD. The only factor significantly associated with SD in comparison with SS was older age (odds ratio [OR], 3.9; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.4-11.3, when comparing 18-to 60-year-olds with ,18-year-olds). Factors significantly associated with SR in comparison with SS were unrelated donor (OR, 3.0; 95% CI, 1.2-7.4) and Minnesota high-risk aGVHD (OR, 2.4; 95% CI, 1.3-4.6). SR aGVHD was independently associated with higher risk for 2-year overall mortality (hazards ratio [HR], 1.8; 95% CI, 1.2-2.8) and nonrelapse mortality (NRM; HR, 2.1; 95% CI, 1.2-3.9). SS and SD GVHD groups had similar overall survival and NRM. The cumulative incidence of chronic GVHD was highest in the SD group, followed by the SR and SS groups (46%, 41%, and 29%, respectively). SD and SS GVHD had similar prognoses, both markedly better than those of the SR groups.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was funded in part by research support from Incyte Corporation to the University of Minnesota.
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