Journal Article

In-vitro growth patterns of bone marrow erythroid progenitors from patients with post-renal transplant erythrocytosis.

D Hestin, M J Grégoire, D Mayeux, P M Mertes, D Lakomsky and M Kessler

in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation

Volume 13, issue 7, pages 1776-1781
Published in print July 1998 | ISSN: 0931-0509
Published online July 1998 | e-ISSN: 1460-2385 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ndt/13.7.1776
In-vitro growth patterns of bone marrow erythroid progenitors from patients with post-renal transplant erythrocytosis.

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BACKGROUND: Erythrocytosis is relatively common after renal transplantation and is associated with a higher risk of thromboembolism. Its aetiology is unclear and there is still debate about the most frequently suggested causes. The culture in vitro of erythroid progenitors is regarded as a useful tool for the differential diagnosis of patients with unclear erythrocytosis. We studied the growth in vitro of bone marrow erythroid progenitors from renal transplant patients with erythrocytosis and controls without erythrocytosis. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Thirteen renal transplant patients with erythrocytosis and 12 normocythaemic renal transplant controls were studied. The clinical characteristics of these patients were evaluated and serum erythropoietin (Epo) and ferritin levels were determined. Bone marrow erythroid progenitors were cultured both with and without the addition of Epo to the medium. RESULTS: Samples from six polycythaemic patients and seven controls did not grow spontaneously in the absence of exogenous Epo. Three cases of post-transplant erythrocytosis and five controls produced CFU-E, but not BFU-E. A few CFU-E and BFU-E grew spontaneously in samples from four polycythaemic patients but not in samples from the controls. Addition of 1 unit per millilitre Epo caused similar increases in the number of colonies in both polycythaemic patients and controls. Of the nine patients eligible for follow-up, all four with spontaneous growth of BFU-E had transient erythrocytosis and four of the five patients with no spontaneous growth or spontaneous growth of CFU-E only had persistent erythrocytosis requiring treatment with ACE inhibitors. CONCLUSIONS: Pathophysiology of post-transplant erythrocytosis is heterogeneous. In one-third of the patients, there was unexpected, spontaneous and transient growth of BFU-E which was not predictive of permanent erythrocytosis. The results of stem-cell studies suggest that in these cases erythrocytosis may be caused by defective regulation of erythroid progenitor proliferation, possibly due to particular cellular interactions or the effect of cyclosporin on erythropoiesis.

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Subjects: Nephrology

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