Background: Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is a common complication of allo-hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT). Endoscopic biopsy can provide a definitive diagnosis, but the optimal endoscopic approach for diagnosis remains uncertain. This study evaluated whether ileocolonoscopic imaging can predict acute GVHD severity after allo-HSCT. Methods: Consecutive patients who underwent allo-HSCT were referred to our institution, and those diagnosed with acute GVHD by pathology were included in this retrospective study. Results: Fifty-one of 261 patients who underwent ileocolonoscopy were suspected to have acute intestinal GVHD. We performed univariate and multivariate conditional logistic regression with stepwise variable selection; villous atrophy in the terminal ileum remained a statistically significant predictor of GVHD severity (odds ratio, 4.69; 95% confidence interval, 1.07-20.60, P = 0.04). Patients were classified into three groups based on ileal endoscopic findings in the terminal ileum: group S, GVHD with severe villous atrophy; group M, mild atrophy; and group N, no atrophy. Compared with patients in groups M and N, those in group S had significant clinical GVHD at diagnosis (P = 0.03). In group S, three of four, compared with five of 13 patients in groups M and N, required the addition of second-line agents (P = 0.02). Conclusions: This study showed that severe atrophy of the terminal ileum predicts severe clinical GVHD that is likely to be refractory to steroid treatment. Thus, the severity of terminal ileum atrophy may serve as a tool in predicting clinically severe GVHD.
- Acute graft-versus-host disease
- Terminal ileum
ASJC Scopus subject areas