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Tohoku J Exp Med. 1996 Aug;179(4):281-9.

Transfusion-associated graft-versus-host disease diagnosed by polymerase chain reaction analysis of DNA microsatellites: an autopsy case with immunohistochemical investigation.

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  • 1Department of Oral Pathology, Tohoku University School of Dentistry, Sendai.


An autopsy case of transfusion-associated graft-versus-host disease (TA-GVHD) is reported with immunohistochemical investigation and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis. In a 58-year-old male, esophagectomy for carcinoma was performed with a transfusion of 4 units of fresh whole blood. Diarrhea, fever, erythematous rash, pain and leukopenia occurred with an onset 11 days after the operation. He died of sudden dyspnea 29 days after the operation. At autopsy, histological examinations revealed lichenoid lesion in the skin, injury of mucosal epithelia in the digestive tract and damage of interlobular bile ducts in the liver. Immunohistochemical investigation suggested the association between these lesions and CD8-positive T lymphocytes. Severe disturbances of bone marrow and lymphoid organs were accompanied with gram-positive cocci infection in the lungs, esophagus and small intestine. PCR analysis of DNA at microsatellite loci, human growth hormone (HGH) and apolipoprotein B (Apo B), showed DNA chimerism and established the definitive diagnosis of TA-GVHD.

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