Reduced-Intensity Conditioning Mitigates Risk for Primary Ovarian Insufficiency but Does Not Decrease Risk for Infertility in Pediatric and Young Adult Survivors of Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation

Jonathan D. Bender, Helen Oquendo-del Toro, Janie Benoit, Jonathan C. Howell, Priscila Badia, Stella M. Davies, Michael S. Grimley, Sonata Jodele, Christine Phillips, Karen Burns, Rebecca Marsh, Adam Nelson, Gregory Wallace, Christopher E. Dandoy, Abigail Pate, Andrew C. Strine, Olivia Frias, Lesley Breech, Susan R. Rose, Holly HoefgenPooja Khandelwal, Kasiani C. Myers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is a curative therapy for many pediatric malignant and nonmalignant conditions. Gonadal insufficiency or infertility is present in almost all HSCT survivors who received a myeloablative conditioning (MAC) regimen. Reduced-intensity conditioning (RIC) regimens are being increasingly used in medically fragile patients or in patients with nonmalignant diagnoses to limit the toxicities associated with HSCT; however, the short-term and long-term gonadal toxicity of RIC regimens in pediatric and young adult survivors remains unknown. In this study, we compared the prevalence of gonadal insufficiency and infertility among pubertal and postpubertal pediatric and young adult survivors of HSCT who received a RIC regimen versus those who received a MAC regimen. Twenty-three females (RIC, n = 8; MAC, n = 15) and 35 males (RIC, n = 19; MAC, n = 16) were included in this single-center, retrospective cross-sectional study. Eligible patients were those with available laboratory results who were ≥1 year post-HSCT, age <40 years, and pubertal or postpubertal as assessed by an endocrinologist. Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), estradiol, and anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) levels were measured in females, and FSH, LH, total testosterone, and inhibin B (InhB) levels were measured in males. Twenty-one males (RIC, n = 11; MAC, n = 10) underwent semen analysis through a separate consent. Parametric and nonparametric analyses were undertaken to compare the RIC and MAC groups. Female patients who received RIC were less likely than those who received MAC to develop primary ovarian insufficiency, as demonstrated by elevated FSH (P = .02) and low estradiol (P = .01) or elevated LH (P = .09). Most females in the RIC (75%) and MAC (93%) groups had low AMH levels, indicating low or absent ovarian reserve, with no significant difference between the groups (P = .53). In males, there were no significant differences between the 2 groups in the prevalence of abnormal FSH, LH, testosterone, or InhB levels. Ten of 11 RIC males (91%) and 10 of 10 MAC males (100%) had azoospermia or oligospermia, at a median time to semen analysis from HSCT of 3.7 years (range, 1.3 to 12.2 years). RIC may pose less risk than MAC for primary ovarian insufficiency among female survivors of HSCT; however, both female and male recipients of either RIC or MAC regimens are at high risk for infertility. In the largest reported series of semen analyses of pediatric and young adult male recipients of RIC, azoospermia or oligospermia was found in nearly all (91%) RIC survivors. All patients undergoing HSCT should receive counseling about the high risk of gonadal toxicity, and efforts should be made to preserve fertility in patients undergoing either RIC or MAC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130.e1-130.e8
JournalTransplantation and Cellular Therapy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2023


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