Solid organ transplant-associated acute graft-versus-host disease

Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2010 Aug;134(8):1220-4. doi: 10.5858/2008-0679-RS.1.


Solid organ transplant-associated graft-versus-host disease is an infrequent and potentially lethal complication. The incidence of this complication varies according to the type of organ transplant with higher rates associated with liver and small bowel transplants. The clinical presentation typically includes fever and skin rash, and most cases quickly advance to become a multisystem disease affecting the bone marrow and other nontransplanted solid organs. The diagnosis is based on the clinical symptoms, pathologic changes in biopsied tissues, and systemic lymphoid chimerism. The mortality of this disease can exceed 75% after liver transplant and most patients die from infections or hemorrhage due to bone marrow failure. There is no standard treatment strategy for this complication, and the management mainly consists of both prophylaxis and immediate treatment without delay. This short review summarizes the current pathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment of this entity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Graft vs Host Disease / etiology*
  • Graft vs Host Disease / pathology
  • Graft vs Host Disease / therapy
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppression
  • Intestine, Small / transplantation
  • Liver Transplantation / adverse effects
  • Organ Transplantation / adverse effects*