Graft-versus-host disease after intestinal and multivisceral transplantation

Guosheng Wu, Gennaro Selvaggi, Seigo Nishida, Jang Moon, Eddie Island, Phillip Ruiz, Andreas G. Tzakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Background.: Graft-versus-host-disease (GVHD) is a rare complication but carries a high mortality after transplantation. We retrospectively evaluated the incidence, risk factors and impact of this complication on the survival outcome of intestinal transplantation at a single center. Methods.: 241 patients who underwent intestinal transplantation between March 1994 and July 2007 were analyzed for evidence of GVHD. A diagnosis of GVHD was based on clinical presentations and confirmed by histological findings. Results.: Of the 241 patients, 22 (9.1%) were diagnosed as GVHD. The median time of GVHD onset was 75 days (range, 14-1,408). The incidence of GVHD was significantly higher in young children than in adults (13.2 versus 4.4%, P=0.05). The multivisceral graft recipients were more likely to develop GVHD compared with those of isolated small bowel (12.4% versus 4.6%, P=0.05). The presence of recipient splenectomy was significantly associated with the incidence of GVHD (P=0.03). The inclusion of the spleen in the multivisceral grafts tended to be at an increased risk of GVHD compared with the group without the spleen transplant (12.3% versus 7.9%, P=0.43). A total of 16 patients with GVHD died during the entire follow-up. Infection was the leading cause of death in 55% patients. Conclusions.: GVHD is a fatal and progressive complication of small bowel transplantation. Younger children, multivisceral graft recipients, and particularly those with splenectomy are at high risk of developing GVHD after transplantation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)219-224
Number of pages6
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 27 2011


  • Complications
  • Graft-versus-host disease
  • Small bowel transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation


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