(HealthDay News) – For pediatric patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), complications are common, but are generally mild and self-limiting, according to a study published online Feb. 28 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

To examine the development of ocular complications in children within one year after HSCT, Viera Kalinina Ayuso, MD, from the University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands, and colleagues conducted a prospective study of 49 children who underwent systematic ophthalmologic evaluations before HSCT; after the procedure and before leaving the HSCT unit; and at three, six, and twelve months after HSCT.

The researchers found that 27% of patients developed an ocular complication following HSCT, including dry eye syndrome (14%), (sub)retinal hemorrhage (12%), optic disc edema (6%), chorioretinal lesions (4%), vitritis (2%), and increased intraocular pressure (2%). With the exception of dry eye syndrome, which developed a median of five months after HSCT, the other conditions developed within three months after HSCT. The symptoms were mild and self-limiting in most cases. Compared to children with nonmalignant disease, children with malignant disease had an increased risk of development of ocular complications.

“In conclusion, ocular adverse effects in pediatric HSCT patients are common, but most are mild with no long-term visual sequelae; however, a potential risk of development of vision-threatening complications cannot be ruled out completely in this vulnerable group of patients,” the authors write.

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