Chronic Graft-versus-Host Disease following Varicella-Zoster Virus Infection in Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplant Recipients

Abstract

We describe 2 allogeneic stem cell transplantation patients who developed chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) after dermatomal varicella-zoster virus (VZV) infection. Localized zoster did not respond to oral valaciclovir but did resolve with intravenous aciclovir. However, skin eruptions, eye/oral dryness, and liver dysfunction were observed at the healing stage of localized zoster, suggesting development of GVHD. Intensification of immunosuppressive therapy was required to control GVHD. Quantitative real-time PCR for VZV DNA was used to distinguish liver involvement by chronic GVHD from visceral dissemination of VZV in 1 patient. VZV infection may trigger chronic GVHD after allogeneic stem cell transplantation.

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Correspondence to Noriaki Kawano or Hisashi Gondo or Tomohiko Kamimura or Kenichi Aoki or Tadafumi Iino or Fumihiko Ishikawa or Toshihiro Miyamoto or Koji Nagafuji or Kazuya Shimoda or Shin Hayashi or Teruhisa Otsuka or Yukumasa Kazuyama or Mine Harada.

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Kawano, N., Gondo, H., Kamimura, T. et al. Chronic Graft-versus-Host Disease following Varicella-Zoster Virus Infection in Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplant Recipients. Int J Hematol 78, 370–373 (2003). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02983564

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Key words

  • Varicella-zoster virus
  • Herpes zoster
  • Allogeneic stem cell transplantation
  • Quantitative real-time PCR