OBJECTIVE Vitamin A is involved in maintenance of gut mucosal integrity and normal immune function. However, it is unclear whether these functions of vitamin A have any beneficial effects in patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). In this study, we aimed to examine the potential protective effect of vitamin A supplementation on gastrointestinal (GI) mucosal integrity in HSCT recipients
using plasma citrulline as a surrogate marker of intestinal integrity. RESULTS We performed a quasi-randomized trial in 30 pediatric patients undergoing HSCT. Half (n?=?15) of the patients received a single high dose of vitamin A (200,000 IU) before the conditioning regimen was given, and half (n?=?15) did not. Clinical data of patients who developed post-transplant complications were recorded for 60 days after HSCT. There were no significant differences in mean plasma citrulline levels on day 7 after HSCT between the treatment and control groups (5.8 vs. 5.9 µmol/L, respectively). The incidence of mucositis and other complications were not different between the two groups within 60 days of HSCT. Vitamin A supplementation prior to HSCT in pediatric patients had no clinical benefit in protecting GI mucosal integrity.