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Sept 25, 1967

Graft-vs-Host Reaction Following a Single Blood Transfusion

Author Affiliations

From the departments of pediatrics (Drs. Hathaway, Fulginiti, Githens, Pearlman, and Kempe) and pathology (Drs. Pierce and Muschenheim), University of Colorado Medical Center, Denver.

JAMA. 1967;201(13):1015-1020. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130130041011

The graft-vs-host (GVH) reaction occurred in an 11-month-old boy with thymic alymphoplasia and progressive vaccinia who had received a single whole blood transfusion. The principal manifestations of the GVH reaction were hepatosplenomegaly, dermatitis, diarrhea, aplastic anemia, and histiocytosis of the spleen and lymph nodes. The findings in this patient are quite similar to those of other previously reported cases of possible human runt disease. This case study emphasizes the dangers of smallpox vaccination or blood tranfusion in infants with thymic alymphoplasia or one of the variants of this syndrome.