Autoimmune hematologic complications of umbilical cord blood transplantation

Uroosa Ibrahim, Alla Keyzner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


While umbilical cord blood is increasingly utilized as a stem cell source, immune complications associated with the procedure have been recognized. These complications result from significant immune system dysregulation and defective reconstitution following transplant causing an imbalance between T-cell subsets, aberrant B cells, and abnormal antibody production. This may occur up to 12 months after transplant coinciding with thymic regeneration in adults. The aim of our review is to describe the incidence, pathophysiology, clinical features, and prognosis of autoimmune cytopenias following umbilical cord blood transplant. Furthermore, we review the treatment strategies reported in the existing literature, describe the authors’ experience with the complication, and highlight novel treatment options being studied. The knowledge of the occurrence and timing of autoimmune complications of umbilical cord blood transplantation is essential for detection and treatment of the disease. Emerging therapeutic options include interleukin-2 (IL-2), which is also being studied for the treatment of acute and chronic graft-versus-host disease. IL-2 has favorable effects on growth, differentiation, and function of regulatory T cells. Monoclonal antibody treatments, such as daratumumab, are also on the forefront and more experience with them will guide further treatment strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-109
Number of pages6
JournalHematology/ Oncology and Stem Cell Therapy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • Autoimmune anemia
  • Autoimmune neutropenia
  • Hematopoietic stem cell transplant
  • Immune dysregulation
  • Immune thrombocytopenia
  • Umbilical cord blood transplant


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