Ovarian insufficiency following allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation

Ovarian insufficiency is a serious complication for young women who undergo hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Reduced-intensity conditioning (RIC) has been utilized more widely due to its reduced toxicity; however, there is a lack of data concerning ovarian function after HSCT with RIC. We investigated the ovarian function in patients who received HSCT with RIC, compared to those who received myeloablative conditioning (MAC). The records of 69 female patients who received allogeneic HSCT at the institution under 40 years of age at transplantation from 1991 to 2012 were retrospectively analyzed. Prevalence of ovarian insufficiency was significantly lower in patients conditioned with RIC than in those conditioned with MAC (4/27 = 14.8% for RIC and 36/42 = 85.7% for MAC, p < 0.0001). A younger age at HSCT was associated with a lower risk of ovarian insufficiency. Among the 40 patients with ovarian insufficiency, four patients recovered ovarian function, and two conceived following hormone-replacement therapy (HRT). A higher serum E2 level prior to HRT was a significant predictor for the restoration of ovarian function (p = 0.0028). In conclusion, RIC was significantly less toxic to ovarian function compared with MAC. HSCT-associated ovarian insufficiency is not irreversible, and a higher E2 level may predict the restoration of ovarian function.