Defibrotide for the treatment of sinusoidal obstruction syndrome: evaluation of response to therapy and patient outcomes

John Coutsouvelis, Sharon Avery, Michael Dooley, Carl Kirkpatrick, Andrew Spencer

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Purpose: Defibrotide is an agent used to treat sinusoidal obstruction syndrome (SOS/VOD) in patients undergoing haemopoietic stem cell transplantation. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of defibrotide used within institutional guidelines for the treatment of SOS/VOD in patients undergoing haemopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Methods: Data for 23 patients was retrospectively reviewed to evaluate the effectiveness of defibrotide and the utility of response criteria to direct therapy as specified within institution guidelines. Patients met institutional criteria for a diagnosis of SOS/VOD based on predominantly Baltimore criteria and received defibrotide. Stabilisation or improvement in symptoms and biochemical markers was required for continuation of therapy with defibrotide. Results: Overall, 14 patients responded to therapy. Survival at day 100 post HSCT was 70%. Median serum (total) bilirubin concentrations in all evaluable patients had decreased at days 5 and 10 (p < 0.001). There was a proportional reduction in median weight of 4% by day 5 and 6.6% by day 10 (p < 0.001). On cessation of defibrotide, there was a decrease in the proportion of patients exhibiting hepatomegaly (p = 0.02), ascites (p < 0.01) and requiring oxygen supplementation (p < 0.01), with 70% survival at day 100 post HSCT. Conclusion: Defibrotide to treat SOS/VOD and continued based on attainment of early response was effective management of this condition. Defibrotide should be considered in any consensus protocol providing guidance on the management of SOS/VOD, with future studies considered to assess appropriate time points for response to therapy during treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)947-955
Number of pages9
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018


  • Defibrotide
  • haemopoietic stem cell transplantation
  • Sinusoidal obstruction syndrome
  • Veno-occlusive disease

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