Diagnostic accuracy of endoscopic features of pediatric acute gastrointestinal graft-versus-host disease

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Abstract

Background and Aim:

Acute gastrointestinal graft-versus-host disease (GI-GVHD) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). There are very few studies on specific endoscopic findings in pediatric acute GI-GVHD. The aim of this retrospective case–control study was to elucidate the characteristic endoscopic findings in pediatric acute GI-GVHD that improve the diagnostic accuracy of endoscopy.

Methods:

All consecutive patients under 18 years of age who underwent allogeneic HSCT in Kyoto University Hospital from May 2003 to October 2014 were identified retrospectively. Patients who underwent GI endoscopy as a result of sustained GI symptoms were identified. Intestinal villous patterns were evaluated by magnification endoscopy with the water-immersion technique. The patients were diagnosed with acute GI-GVHD and non-GVHD on the basis of biopsy histology. Endoscopic findings of the two groups were compared.

Results:

Of the 171 patients who underwent HSCT, 30 underwent GI endoscopy. Of these, 17 and nine were diagnosed with acute GI-GVHD and non-GVHD, respectively. Compared with non-GVHD, acute GI-GVHD was associated significantly more often with short blunt villi in the duodenum (P = 0.013), variable defect villi and short blunt villi in the ileum (P = 0.009 and 0.035, respectively), and edema, erosion, and tortoiseshell-like mucosae in the colon (P = 0.017, 0.023, and 0.017, respectively).

Conclusion:

Pediatric acute GI-GVHD was associated with several characteristic features on magnifying endoscopy with the water-immersion technique. These features will be useful for endoscopic diagnosis of pediatric acute GI-GVHD.

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