Skip To The Main Content

What to Expect After a Stem Cell Transplant for Acute Myeloid Leukemia

The early side effects of a stem cell transplant are mostly from the high-dose chemotherapy. These should go away as you recover from the transplant. You may also experience a strange taste in your mouth from the preservative used to freeze the stem cells. These are some common side effects:

  • Low blood cell counts, as seen on blood test results

  • Low blood pressure

  • Shortness of breath

  • Chest pain or lightness

  • Coughing

  • Fever or chills

  • Hair loss

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Mouth sores

  • Loss of appetite

  • Diarrhea

  • Fatigue

  • Weakness

Potential long-term side effects

Side effects may be long lasting or appear years later. These are possible long-term side effects:

  • Shortness of breath, often caused by radiation damage to the lungs

  • Severe skin rashes with itching, severe diarrhea, fatigue, and muscle aches. These symptoms may indicate graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), a condition that occurs if the immune system cells in the donor’s stem cells attack your skin, liver, gastrointestinal tract, mouth, or other organs. This is only seen with allogeneic transplants. 

  • Lack of menstrual periods, which may indicate ovary damage and cause infertility

  • Weight gain, which may be a sign of thyroid gland damage

  • Vision problems caused by damage to the lens of the eye

  • Bone damage, called aseptic necrosis, due to the lack of blood supply

FYH

MetroWest Medical Center provides advanced medicine and personalized care, right here in your community.

Click here to read our Community Newsletter

heartvascular

The Center for Heart & Vascular Services. At the forefront of heart and vascular disease for more than 25 years.

Learn More

inquicker-metrowestmedicalcenter-widget-230x200_2014_v1r1