Veno-occlusive disease (VOD) is a severe adverse reaction to busulfan-containing regimens used in the preparation of children for hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). We conducted a retrospective analysis of data to examine determinants of VOD in children who received IV busulfan for HSCT conditioning. Busulfan PK parameters as well as various indices (maximal concentration-Cmax, area under the concentration-time curve-AUC) were
estimated using a validated Bayesian approach. The influence of available PK, demographic, and clinical variables on the incidence of VOD was evaluated by using logistic regression and classification and regression tree (CART) analyses. Among the 293 patients included, the mean age was 6.5 years and the mean actual body weight was 26.3 kg. The incidence of VOD was 25.6%. Busulfan Cmax as well as weight <9 kg or age <3 years were identified as independent predictors of VOD in logistic regression analysis. CART analysis identified busulfan Cmax over the entire regimen as the strongest predictor of VOD. This study suggests that busulfan-associated VOD is in part a concentration-dependent reaction. In addition, the youngest children showed the highest risk of VOD. These findings may have important implications for busulfan dosing and therapeutic drug monitoring practice in HSCT children.