In this large single-centre study, we report high prevalence (25%) of, small (<10%) and very small (<1%), paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) clones by high-sensitive cytometry among 3085 patients tested. Given PNH association with bone marrow failures, we analyzed 869 myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and 531 aplastic anemia (AA) within the cohort. PNH clones were more frequent and larger in AA vs. MDS (p = 0.04). PNH clone, irrespective of size, was a good predictor of response to immunosuppressive therapy (IST) and to stem cell transplant (HSCT) (in MDS: 84% if PNH+ vs. 44.7% if PNH-, p = 0.01 for IST, and 71% if PNH+ vs. 56.6% if PNH- for HSCT; in AA: 78 vs. 50% for IST, p < 0.0001, and 97 vs. 77%, p = 0.01 for HSCT). PNH positivity had a favorable impact on disease progression (0.6% vs. 4.9% IPSS-progression in MDS, p < 0.005; and 2.1 vs. 6.9% progression to MDS in AA, p = 0.01), leukemic evolution (6.8 vs. 12.7%, p = 0.01 in MDS), and overall survival [73% (95% CI 68-77) vs. 51% (48-54), p < 0.0001], with a relative HR for mortality of 2.37 (95% CI 1.8-3.1; p < 0.0001) in PNH negative cases, both in univariate and multivariable analysis. Our data suggest systematic PNH testing in AA/MDS, as it might allow better prediction/prognostication and consequent clinical/laboratory follow-up timing.
- aplastic anemia
- myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS)
- paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH)