Graft-versus-Host Disease is a complication that may occur after a bone marrow transplant when the newly transplanted donor cells are not compatible with the recipient’s body. This is a condition that occurs when there is a genetic mismatch between the donor and the recipient. The symptoms are characterized by selective damage to the liver, skin and the gastrointestinal tract. Acute condition may cause intestinal inflammation, sloughing of the mucosal membrane, severe diarrhoea, abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting.
HOW IS GRAFT-VERSUS-HOST DISEASE DIAGNOSED?
The diagnosis will involve a biopsy and a blood culture to identify the reason for the symptoms that the patients show.
HOW IS GRAFT-VERSUS-HOST DISEASE TREATED?
After a transplant, the recipient usually takes drugs that suppress the immune system. This helps reduce the chances of GVHD. A number of medicines and other treatments are often started after the transplant. Many of these medicines have side effects, including kidney and liver damage. The doctor will suggest continuous tests to watch for these problems on a regular basis. Treatment of chronic GVHD includes prednisone (a steroid), or the same drugs that suppress the immune system.
DID YOU KNOW?
Pre-emptive treatment can help in preventing this condition.