Liver Graft versus Host Disease after Allogeneic Peripheral Stem Cell Transplantation: Update on Etiopathogenesis and Diagnosis

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Graft versus host disease (GVHD) is the main complication of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation and is more frequent after peripheral stem cell transplants. Graft versus leukemia or lymphoma component of them is beneficial to eradicate residual tumor mass after previous treatment and conditioning regimen. A severe GVHD may endanger the patient's life. The most important liver manifestations of GVHD are increased serum alkaline phosphatase and bilirubin values. The last allows to estimate the GVHD severity. Sometimes, an increase of aminotransferases can mimic an acute hepatitis. Donor-derived hematopoietic cells appeared to turn in mesenchymal liver cells. Activated CD4(+) T cells, humoral and complement activation, a large number of cytokines and cytokine receptors are involved in GVHD development. Correct and early recognition of GVHD and its differentiation from the other liver diseases are essential for the medical practice.

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