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October 1990

Transfusion-Associated Graft-vs-Host Disease in Patients With Malignancies: Report of Two Cases and Review of the Literature

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Dermatology, Harvard Medical School, and the Department of Medicine, New England Deaconess Hospital, Boston, Mass.

Arch Dermatol. 1990;126(10):1324-1329. doi:10.1001/archderm.1990.01670340076012

• Graft-vs-host disease can develop in immunosuppressed individuals who receive blood-product transfusions that contain immunocompetent lymphocytes. We report two cases of fatal transfusion-associated graft-vs-host disease that developed in patients with Hodgkin's disease who were undergoing therapy. We review all cases of this entity in patients with malignancies, represented predominantly by patients with hematologic malignancies. The groups at risk for development of transfusion-associated graft-vs-host disease, the clinical presentation and course, and methods of diagnosis are summarized. Prevention of this highly fatal condition is possible by irradiation of blood products given to patients at risk, but problems remain in determining the groups that warrant such measures. Dermatologists need to have heightened awareness of this entity to facilitate more complete diagnosis and allow establishment of effective standards of care.

(Arch Dermatol. 1990;126:1324-1329)

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