The aim of this study was to determine whether impaired quality of life (QOL) persisted among patients who experienced resolved chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT). Eligible participants were patients who were relapse-free for 3 years after allo-HCT who were age ≥16 years at the time of transplantation and age ≥20 years without relapse at the time of the survey. The Medical Outcomes Study's 36-Item Short-Form Survey (SF-36), the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Bone Marrow Transplant (FACT-BMT), and a visual analog scale (VAS) were administered to assess QOL. Physicians evaluated the current status of chronic GVHD at survey using National Institutes of Health (NIH) criteria, and pretransplantation characteristics and history of GVHD were extracted from the national transplant registry database. Patients without currently active GVHD but with a history of chronic GVHD were categorized as having “resolved GVHD.” Of 1250 patients informed of the study, 1216 provided consent and 1130 were included in the final analysis. A total of 745 patients (66%) had currently active chronic GVHD, 149 (13%) had resolved chronic GVHD, and 236 (21%) never had chronic GVHD after allo-HCT. Multivariable analyses showed that compared with patients with resolved or no chronic GVHD, those with active chronic GVHD reported significantly poorer QOL. The QOL scores were similar in patients with resolved chronic GVHD and those without chronic GVHD. Greater between-group differences were observed in SF-36 Physical component and VAS scores in patients age ≥50 years, but the differences were not statistically significant. Our data indicate that only currently active chronic GVHD has a significant impact on physical, mental, and social QOL in allo-HCT survivors, whereas previous chronic GVHD does not impair QOL if it has been resolved.
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