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Transplant Proc. 2006 Jul-Aug;38(6):1768-9.

Etiology and management of alimentary tract ulcers in pediatric intestinal transplantation patients.

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  • 1University of Miami, Miami, FL 33136, USA.


Patients who undergo intestinal transplantation encounter several complications in the posttransplant period, one of them being ulcer formation in the alimentary tract. During postoperative endoscopic monitoring of 112 pediatric intestinal transplantation patients at our institution, we identified chronic ulcer formation in 11 patients. There were no common or defining demographic or clinical variables that were found in the patients with ulcers. The ulcers could be located within the allograft or in native tissue. Biopsies were obtained from the ulcer edge and the intervening mucosa as well as an evaluation of possible infectious agents. The most common changes in the ulcers were compatible with Epstein-Barr virus-associated posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD; seven cases), acute rejection (six cases), and less commonly, infectious causes (one case). These changes could occur concomitantly and retrospective analysis after therapy showed that the ulcers could have multiple etiologies. Directed biopsies of ulcer edges often displayed morphological changes compatible with acute rejection of the graft, although some biopsies of the intervening mucosa did not show similar changes. Some patients treated based on the changes within the intervening mucosa responded well and led to resolution of the ulcers. Our findings demonstrate that PTLD and acute rejection are the most common causes of chronic ulcer formation and that biopsy samples should be collected simultaneously from both the ulcer edge and intervening mucosa since pathological changes can vary depending on the underlying cause(s). Infectious agents were rarely present but could be seen superimposed with the underlying cause.

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