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Fertility impairment and recovery after haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) have been reported in both sexes, but little is known about how they develop over time. Our aim was to describe the dynamics of fertility impairment and recovery after HSCT.
We retrieved treatment and fertility data for up to 12 years of 361 paediatric patients with malignant and non-malignant diseases from seven European centres. The patients had been treated with allogeneic HSCT between 2000 and 2005.
Development of fertility impairment was observed in males (123/217, 56 %) after a median time of 2.6 years (range 0.1-11.4) and in females (82/144, 57 %) after 2.3 years (range 0.1-12.0) after HSCT. Different busulfan dosages had only a slight impact on the onset of fertility impairment (busulfan ≥16 mg/kg with a median time to fertility impairment of 2.9 vs. 3.9 years after busulfan <14 mg/kg). Recovery from fertility impairment was observed in 17 participants after a median time of 4.1 years (range 1-10.6) in females (10/144, 7 %) and 2.0 years (range 1-6.3) in males (7/217, 3 %) after fertility impairment first appeared.
In the light of the dynamics of fertility impairment and recovery in the HSCT patients reviewed, these patients should be counselled comprehensively regarding fertility preservation measures.