The Contributions of Pathology to the Diagnosis and Management of GVHD: Caveats and Lessons Learned

  • Howard M. ShulmanEmail author


Pathology plays a significant role in the interpretation of surgical biopsies that provide a clinical diagnosis and aid in the management decisions. By evaluating a collection of biopsies, pathology has helped define the natural history of various manifestations of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). GVHD affects several organs, most commonly the skin, liver, and gastrointestinal tract. Interpretation of these cases requires knowledge and consideration of GVHD's progression over time and the effects of therapeutic intervention on the respective histology. Pathology is required to distinguish infection and other differential diagnoses from GVHD and to differentiate static changes from active changes. The contemporary diagnostic criterion and recommended format for reporting the organs involved with acute and chronic GVHD are presented.


Pathology of GVHD Chronic GVHD Minimal diagnostic criteria for GVHD Sampling of tissues for GVHD NIH consensus panel criteria for diagnosis of chronic GVHD Format for reporting surgical biopsies for GVHD 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Clinical Research DivisionFred Hutchinson Cancer Research CenterSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Department of PathologyUniversity of Washington School of MedicineSeattleUSA
  3. 3.Pathology SectionSeattle Cancer Care AllianceSeattleUSA

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