Although the known clinical courses of non-severe aplastic anemia (NSAA) in children comprise spontaneous resolution, persistent NSAA, or progression to severe aplastic anemia (SAA), only a few published reports have indicated the outcome of transfusion-independent NSAA. We retrospectively evaluated the incidence and time of progression from transfusion-independent to transfusion-dependent NSAA or SAA. We reviewed the records of 70 children with acquired AA who were referred to our hospital between 1986 and 2006, and among them we found 22 patients who had transfusion-independent NSAA at diagnosis and were treated with supportive care alone until progression to transfusion-dependent AA. 22 patients were followed up for a median of 86 months (range, 11-198 months). The Kaplan-Meier estimates for progression-free survival were 62 ± 12 and 22 ± 13% at 60 and 120 months after diagnosis, respectively. None of the patients treated with supportive care alone improved hematologically. In conclusion, because the incidence of disease progression was high in patients with NSAA, a prospective randomized trial of early intervention with IST or observation alone until disease progression to SAA, followed by IST when the patients become transfusion-dependent is warranted.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes