What are the Risks of Bone Marrow Transplant

What are the Risks of Bone Marrow Transplant?

Bone marrow transplants are intricate procedures associated with notable risks of severe complications. The process of new bone marrow integration may be prolonged, requiring vigilant monitoring for potential infections or adverse events. Research indicates that younger patients tend to have higher success rates with this treatment. Given the considerable risk of side effects, it’s crucial for patients to be fully informed about potential risks before undergoing the procedure. Various factors contribute to the likelihood and severity of complications, including:

  • The type of marrow transplant utilized.
  • The specific ailment necessitating the transplant.
  • The patient’s age and overall health status.
  • The degree of tissue compatibility between donor and recipient.

Serious risks and side effects associated with bone marrow transplants encompass:

  • Reduced platelet and red blood cell counts.
  • Severe bleeding tendencies.
  • Fluid overload.
  • Increased susceptibility to infections.
  • Respiratory distress.
  • Risk of infertility or sterility.
  • Development of cataracts.
  • Graft failure.
  • Muscle spasms and leg cramps.
  • Heightened risk of secondary cancers.
  • Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), wherein the donor’s immune system may reject the recipient’s tissues, potentially leading to acute or chronic complications. Symptoms of GVHD include diarrhea, fever, rash, skin changes, abdominal pain, respiratory issues, and liver function impairment. Medications administered prior to transplant aim to mitigate this risk.

Given the multifaceted nature of bone marrow transplants and the array of potential complications, patients must receive comprehensive pre-transplant counseling and ongoing post-transplant care to minimize risks and optimize outcomes.