Hepatic veno-occlusive disease following hematopoietic stem cell transplantation

Acta Haematol. 2001;106(1-2):57-68. doi: 10.1159/000046590.


The clinical syndrome of hepatic veno-occlusive disease (VOD) is one of the most common and serious complications following hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (SCT). High-dose chemotherapy or chemoradiation therapy in the context of autologous and allogeneic SCT can profoundly injure sinusoidal endothelium and hepatocytes within zone 3 of the liver acinus, producing the clinical syndrome of hepatomegaly and/or right upper quadrant pain with jaundice and fluid retention, typically manifest as weight gain. The incidence is variable and ranges from 10 to 60%. Mild to moderate disease is characterized by eventual complete resolution. In contrast, severe disease frequently results in multiorgan failure and death. The purpose of this review is to discuss the pathophysiology and clinical features of VOD, and the current status and future directions of research for both prevention and treatment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Endothelium, Vascular / metabolism
  • Endothelium, Vascular / pathology
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Hepatic Veno-Occlusive Disease / etiology*
  • Hepatic Veno-Occlusive Disease / pathology
  • Hepatic Veno-Occlusive Disease / therapy
  • Humans
  • Liver / blood supply
  • Liver / pathology


  • Cytokines