Pathology of the Gastrointestinal Tract

2017 Edition
| Editors: Fátima Carneiro, Paula Chaves, Arzu Ensari

Gastric Graft-Versus-Host Disease

  • Wen-Yih LiangEmail author
  • Gregory Y. Lauwers
Reference work entry


Graft-vs-host disease, GVHD


GVHD is the result of the activation of donor lymphocytes attacking and damaging the recipient tissues after allogeneic transplant.

Currently, acute and chronic GVHD are defined more along clinicopathologic features rather than time post transplant (previous classifications suggested a breakdown of <100 days for acute GVHD, 100 days for chronic GVHD). Some authors suggest that better terms would be active and active/chronic GVHD.

Clinical Features

  • Presentation

    Gastrointestinal GVHD commonly presents 3 or more weeks after transplant. The classic triad of nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea detected in over 60% of patients represents the most common symptoms. Isolated diarrhea with or without abdominal pain is observed in 20% of patients, while nausea or vomiting without other symptoms is present in only 10% of the cases. Only 7% of GVHD patients experience abdominal pain alone.

  • Incidence

    Autologous GVHD is described in up to 10% of patients...

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References and Further Reading

  1. Cruz-Correa, M., et al. (2002). Endoscopic findings predict the histologic diagnosis in gastrointestinal graft-versus-host disease. Endoscopy, 34(10), 808–813.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Holmberg, L., Kikuchi, K., Gooley, T. A., et al. (2006). Gastrointestinal graft-versus-host disease in recipients of autologous hematopoietic stem cells: Incidence, risk factors, and outcome. Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation, 12, 226–234.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Ross, W. A., et al. (2008). Endoscopic biopsy diagnosis of acute gastrointestinal graft-versus-host disease: Rectosigmoid biopsies are more sensitive than upper gastrointestinal biopsies. The American Journal of Gastroenterology, 103(4), 982–989.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Shulman, H. M., et al. (2006). Histopathologic diagnosis of chronic graft-versus-host disease: National Institutes of Health Consensus Development Project on Criteria for Clinical Trials in Chronic Graft-versus-Host Disease: II. Pathology Working Group Report. Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation, 12(1), 31–47.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Thompson, B., et al. (2006). Prospective endoscopic evaluation for gastrointestinal graft-versus-host disease: Determination of the best diagnostic approach. Bone Marrow Transplantation, 38(5), 371–376.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PathologyTaipei Veterans General HospitalTaipeiTaiwan
  2. 2.Department of PathologyMassachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA