Proteomic patterns predict acute graft-versus-host disease after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation

Eva M. Weissinger, Eric Schiffer, Bernd Hertenstein, James L. Ferrara, Ernst Holler, Michael Stadler, Hans Jochem Kolb, Axel Zander, Petra Zürbig, Markus Kellmann, Arnold Ganser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

139 Scopus citations


Acute graft-versus-host disease (aGvHD) contributes significantly to morbidity and mortality after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT). Diagnosis of GvHD is mainly based on clinical features and tissue biopsies. A noninvasive, unbiased laboratory test for GvHD diagnosis does not exist. Here we describe the application of capillary electrophoresis coupled online with mass spectrometry (CE-MS) to 13 samples from 10 patients with aGvHD of grade II or more and 50 control samples from 23 patients without GvHD. About 170 GvHD-specific polypeptides were detected and a tentatively aGvHD-specific model consisting of 31 polypeptides was chosen, allowing correct classification of 13 of 13 (sensitivity 100.0% [95% confidence interval {CI} 75.1 to 100.0]) aGvHD samples and 49 of 50 (specificity 98.0% [95% CI 89.3 to 99.7]) control samples of the training set. The subsequent blinded evaluation of 599 samples enabled diagnosis of aGvHD greater than grade II, even prior to clinical diagnosis, with a sensitivity of 83.1% (95% CI 73.1 to 87.9) and a specificity of 75.6% (95% CI 71.6 to 79.4). Thus, high-resolution proteome analysis represents an unbiased laboratory-based screening method, enabling diagnosis, and possibly enabling preemptive therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5511-5519
Number of pages9
Issue number12
StatePublished - 15 Jun 2007
Externally publishedYes


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