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August 1977

Graft-Versus-Host ReactionCutaneous Manifestations Following Bone Marrow Transplantation

Arch Dermatol. 1977;113(8):1087-1091. doi:10.1001/archderm.1977.01640080089016

• The distinctive cutaneous changes that occur in both the acute and chronic forms of the graft-vs-host reaction (GVHR) are described in two living patients in whom the GVHR developed after bone marrow transplantation for aplastic anemia. In the skin, the mild form of the acute GVHR is recognized as a subtle macular erythema, and the severe form appears as erythematous papules and violaceous macules with scale. Skin biopsy specimens in both of the acute forms show vacuolar alterations of the epidermal basal-cell layer with a perivenular infiltrate of lymphocytes. The chronic GVHR evolves from generalized scaling to diffuse areas of sclerotic and atrophic skin with a curious reticulated hyperpigmentation, ulcerations, and alopecia. Histopathologic study shows collagenization of the dermis that can be correlated with the clinical sclerodermoid changes. Owing to its visibility, the skin offers a unique opportunity for the early recognition of the GVHR.

(Arch Dermatol 113:1087-1091, 1977)