Skip to Content
Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > Stem Cell Transplant for Lupus
Stem cell transplantation is the replacement of damaged
bone marrow cells with healthy cells, or stem cells. It is generally done after
powerful drugs have been used to wipe out the damaged immune system
Stem cells are immature cells that are produced
in the bone marrow. They can divide to produce more stem cells or mature into
red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.
Stem cell transplantation has serious
risks. After a person's stem cells have been collected from the bloodstream,
they are returned to the bloodstream along with a stem cell growth factor. If
successful, the stem cells help the bone marrow return to a healthy state.
But during the two weeks that the
immune system requires to become strong again, the
body is extremely vulnerable to life-threatening infection.
Small studies of stem cell transplantation for people with severe lupus have shown that it may help some people but it also has serious side effects.footnote 1 This procedure is considered a high-risk, expensive,
and experimental treatment for lupus.
Hahn BH (2012). Systemic lupus erythematosus. In DL Longo et al., eds., Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 18th ed., vol. 2, pp. 2724–2735. New York: McGraw-Hill Medical.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerAnne C. Poinier, MD - Internal MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerNancy Ann Shadick, MD, MPH - Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
Current as ofSeptember 9, 2014
Current as of:
September 9, 2014
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Nancy Ann Shadick, MD, MPH - Internal Medicine, Rheumatology
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
To learn more, visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Send Us Your Feedback
North Kansas City Hospital