Skin Diseases Associated with Stem Cell Transplantation

  • Johanna Sheu
  • Vinod E. Nambudiri
  • Allison L. Goddard
  • Jennifer T. Huang
  • Arturo P. SaavedraEmail author


Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) has been used as curative treatment in both children and adults for hematologic malignancies, immunodeficiencies, autoimmune disorders, and other rare indications. While HSCT has revolutionized patient care, following HSCT, patients are at risk for several secondary cutaneous side effects. In this chapter, we discuss indications for HSCT, conditioning regimens before transplantation, and types of HSCTs. While there is a large range of cutaneous sequelae, we focus on three main topics and their histopathologic correlations in order to help practitioners identify them: (1) the different stages of acute and chronic cutaneous graft-versus-host disease as well as available treatment options; (2) the risk of cutaneous malignancies including nonmelanoma skin cancers and melanoma, as well as additional factors which may increase a patient’s risk; and (3) autoimmune and inflammatory skin diseases associated with HSCT. In transplant recipients, the diagnosis and management of acute and chronic skin diseases after HSCT are vital. We recommend full skin examinations annually and appropriate referral to dermatology when needed, especially in patients who may be at higher risk for skin cancer. Continued research is needed to better understand the pathogenesis and treatment of post-transplant effects on the skin.


Graft-versus-host disease Stem cell transplantation Skin cancer Squamous cell cancer Basal cell cancer Melanoma Autoimmune Vitiligo Psoriasis 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Johanna Sheu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Vinod E. Nambudiri
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Allison L. Goddard
    • 4
  • Jennifer T. Huang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Arturo P. Saavedra
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  2. 2.Dermatology ProgramBoston Children’s HospitalBostonUSA
  3. 3.Department of DermatologyBrigham and Women’s HospitalBostonUSA
  4. 4.UT Erlanger DermatologyChattanoogaUSA
  5. 5.Department of DermatologyUniversity of Virginia Health SystemCharlottesvilleUSA

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