Post-transplant thoracic air-leak syndrome (ALS) is rare but potentially life-threatening in patients receiving allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Nevertheless, papers on thoracic ALS are limited, and this complication remains largely unknown. We reviewed 423 adult patients undergoing allogeneic HSCT from 2003 to 2014. Risk factors, clinical features and survival for thoracic ALS were collected and analysed. Thirteen out of 423 patients (3.1%) developed post-transplant thoracic ALS, including two ALS patients in the early phase. The median age at HSCT was 33 years among 13 patients with thoracic ALS. Male patients were predominant (69%). The median onset time was 253 days (range: 40–2680) after HSCT. Multivariate analysis revealed that grade III–IV acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) (p = 0.017), extensive chronic GVHD (cGVHD) (p = 0.019) and prior history of pulmonary invasive fungal infection (p = 0.007) were significant risk factors for thoracic ALS. In patients with cGVHD, those with thoracic ALS had a significantly worse survival than those without thoracic ALS (p = 0.04). Currently, published data analysing and exploring post-transplant thoracic ALS are limited. Our study employed a large patient cohort and determined the risk factors and clinical features for post-transplant thoracic ALS.
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