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J Intensive Care Med. 2013 Jun 20. [Epub ahead of print]

Transfusion-Associated Graft Versus Host Disease in the Immunocompetent Patient: An Ongoing Problem.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE, USA.


Transfusion associated-graft versus host disease (TA-GVHD) is a rare complication of blood transfusion. It carries a very high mortality rate. Although the phenomenon has been well described in immunocompromised patients, this review focuses on the immunocompetent host. Cases of TA-GVHD continue to be reported following a variety of surgical procedures, especially cardiac procedures requiring cardiopulmonary bypass. Additional risk factors for TA-GVHD include blood component transfusion in populations with limited genetic diversity, the use of directed donations from family members, and the transfusion of fresh blood. As there is no effective treatment, the focus is on prevention.


TA-GVHD; graft versus host disease; microchimerism; transfusion

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