To investigate ocular complications associated with bone marrow transplant and associated continued maintenance therapy in a preschool population.
The medical records of patients <7 years of age were reviewed retrospectively. Patient charts were screened for cataract formation, dry eye, and other anterior and posterior segment disease.
Of 270 cases reviewed, 91 met inclusion criteria. Mean age at diagnosis was 3.17 years. Average follow-up was 5.8 years (range, 1.9 months-14.1 years). Of the 91, 37 patients developed cataracts (35 bilaterally) over a 14-year period. Cumulative incidence corrected for competing event (death before cataract) for the study population was found to be 58.4% after 14 years. Univariate analysis for cataract formation showed statistical significance for total body irradiation dose, age at diagnosis, race, donor type (related vs unrelated), product type, diagnosis type, survival status, calcineurin inhibitor use, and bisulfan, cytarabine, and thiotepa use. Multivariate analysis for competing event (death), showed that total body irradiation dose was not statistically significant; however, when studied in a binary logistic regression model, total body irradiation dose was statistically significant. Notably, steroid use and presence of graft-versus-host disease did not show statistical significance for cataract development. No other ocular complication was found in sufficient quantities to allow statistical analyses.
Due to the high incidence of cataract formation in this population, especially those enduring a treatment regimen with total body irradiation, we propose screening examinations by a pediatric or general ophthalmologist at least annually. We also urge a low threshold for treatment of dry eye syndrome.