Oral granuloma in a pediatric patient with chronic graft-versus-host disease: A case report

World J Clin Cases. 2020 Nov 26;8(22):5663-5669. doi: 10.12998/wjcc.v8.i22.5663.


Background: Oral mucositis is often observed with graft-versus-host disease (GVHD); however, the occurrence of oral granuloma is rare. The rapid increase in granulomatous lesions should be distinguished from malignant tumors in patients with GVHD because malignant diseases can develop in those patients. This case is the youngest pediatric patient with granuloma associated with GVHD.

Case summary: The patient was a 1-year and 5-mo-old girl who presented to our department for the management of oral nodules. At the age of 5 mo, she was diagnosed with primary immunodeficiency disease, cord blood transplant was performed at 11 mo and bone marrow transplant at 1 year of age. After transplantation, GVHD and oral mucositis developed, and tacrolimus was administered. Interestingly, nodules appeared on the lower lip and buccal mucosa, which spontaneously disappeared. Then, a new nodule appeared on the left lateral border of the tongue. Resection was performed and the histopathological diagnosis was granuloma. The origin of these nodules were considered to be the fibroblasts activated under inflammation caused by GVHD because the calcineurin inhibitor tacrolimus acted on their proliferation.

Conclusion: It is very important to distinguish oral granulomatous lesions from malignancies if GVHD is present at the base and if immunosuppressive agents and steroids are being administered.

Keywords: Bone marrow transplantation; Case report; Graft-versus-host disease; Oral granuloma; Primary immunodeficiency disease; Tacrolimus.

Publication types

  • Case Reports