NIH response criteria measures are associated with important parameters of disease severity in patients with chronic GVHD
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Lack of standardized criteria measuring therapeutic response remains an obstacle to the development of better treatments for chronic GVHD (cGVHD). This cross-sectional prospective study examined the concurrent and predictive validity of 18 clinician-reported ('Form A') and 8 patient-reported ('Form B') response measures proposed by NIH criteria. Concurrent parameters of interest were NIH global score, cGVHD activity, Lee symptom score and SF36 PCS. Patient cohort included 193 adults with moderate-to-severe cGVHD. Measures associated with the highest number of outcomes were lung function score (LFS), 2-min walk, grip strength, 4-point health-care provider (HCP) and patient global scores, 11-point clinician- and patient-reported global symptom severity scores, and Karnofsky performance score (KPS). Measures associated with survival in univariate analyses led to a Cox model containing skin erythema, LFS, KPS, eosinophil count and interval from cGVHD diagnosis to enrollment as jointly associated with survival. In conclusion, 4-point HCP and patient global scores and 11-point clinician- and patient-reported global symptom severity scores are associated with the majority of concurrent outcomes. Skin erythema is a potentially reversible sign of cGVHD that is associated with survival. These results define a subset of measures that should be prioritized for evaluation in future studies.
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