Acute graft versus host disease after orthotopic liver transplantation
1 University of Zagreb School of Medicine, University Hospital Merkur, Zagreb, Croatia
2 Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, USA
Journal of Hematology & Oncology 2012, 5:50 doi:10.1186/1756-8722-5-50Published: 13 August 2012
Graft versus host disease (GVHD) is an uncommon complication after orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) with an incidence of 0.1–2%, but an 80–100% mortality rate. Patients can present with skin rashes, diarrhea, and bone marrow aplasia between two to eight weeks after OLT. Diagnosis of GVHD is made based on clinical and histologic evidence, supported by chimerism studies showing donor HLA alleles in the recipient bone marrow or blood. Several therapeutic approaches have been used for the management of GVHD after OLT including increased immunosuppression, decreased immunosuppression, and cellular therapies. However, success rates have been low, and new approaches are needed.