[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
September 1985

Bullous Sclerodermalike Changes in Chronic Graft-vs-Host Disease

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Dermatology (Drs Hymes, Farmer, and Morison) and Pathology (Dr Walters) and the Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Oncology Center (Drs Burns, Tutschka, and Santos), Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore. Dr Hymes is now with the Department of Dermatology, The University of Texas Medical School, Houston.

Arch Dermatol. 1985;121(9):1189-1192. doi:10.1001/archderm.1985.01660090103024

• Cutaneous sclerodermalike changes are a well-documented manifestation of chronic cutaneous graft-vs-host reaction. We describe a patient with chronic cutaneous graft-vs-host reaction who developed vesicles and bullae on sclerodermoid skin 18 months after bone marrow transplantation. The vesicles and bullae were subepidermal in location by light microscopy and were associated with dilated lymphatics and a sparse perivascular mononuclear cell infiltrate. No deposition of immunoreactants was seen by immunofluorescent microscopy. Electron microscopy confirmed the presence of a subepidermal blister beneath an intact basement membrane zone and surrounded by marked dermal edema. We postulate that localized lymphedema may play a role in the development of these vesicles and bullae.

(Arch Dermatol 1985;121:1189-1192)