Accurate diagnosis of acute graft-versus-host disease using serum proteomic pattern analysis

Ramaprasad Srinivasan, Jasmine Daniels, Vincent Fusaro, Andreas Lundqvist, Jonathan K. Killian, David Geho, Martha Quezado, David Kleiner, Sally Rucker, Virginia Espina, Gordon Whiteley, Lance Liotta, Emmanuel Petricoin, Stefania Pittaluga, Ben Hitt, A. J. Barrett, Kevin Rosenblatt, Richard W. Childs*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Objective: The rapid diagnosis of acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) following allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) is important for optimizing the management of this life-threatening complication. Current diagnostic techniques are time-consuming and require invasive tissue sampling. We investigated serum protein pattern analysis using surface-enhanced laser desorption ionization time-of-flight (SELDI-TOF) mass spectrometry as a tool to diagnose GVHD. Patients and Methods: Eighty-eight serum samples were obtained from 34 patients undergoing HCT either pretransplant (n = 28 samples) or at various time points posttransplant (n = 60 samples), including 22 samples obtained on the day of onset of acute GVHD symptoms. Serum proteomic spectra generated from a "training set" of known samples were used to identify distinct proteomic patterns that best categorized a sample as either pretransplant, posttransplant non-GVHD, or GVHD; these distinct proteomic signatures were subsequently used to classify samples from a masked "test" sample set into the appropriate diagnostic category. Results: Proteomic pattern analysis accurately distinguished GVHD samples from both posttransplant non-GVHD samples and pretransplant samples (100% specificity and 100% sensitivity in both cases). Furthermore, distinct serum proteomic signatures were identified that distinguished pretransplant from posttransplant non-GVHD samples (100% specificity and 94% sensitivity). Conclusion: These preliminary data suggest a potential application of SELDI-TOF-based proteomic analysis as a rapid and accurate method to diagnose acute GVHD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)796-801
Number of pages6
JournalExperimental Hematology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2006
Externally publishedYes


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