Isomorphic cutaneous graft-versus-host disease reaction after ultraviolet exposure: Clinical, histological and direct immunofluorescence studies of four allo-transplanted patients

C. Vassallo, V. Brazzelli, M. Zecca, F. Locatelli, P. E. Alessandrino, G. Borroni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Summary Background Acute and chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) continues to be a major limitation to successful haematopoietic stem cell transplantation. If experimental studies and clinical observations could partially elucidate the pathophysiology of acute GVHD, the biology of chronic GVHD is still much less well understood. Objectives The aim of this study is to describe a peculiar photoinduced rash which triggered acute and then chronic lesions of GVHD in four allogenic haematopoietic-transplated patients and discuss the possible aetiology and treatment. Patients/methods Four patients, two children and two adults affected by either mild or severe chronic GVHD, developed an erythematous rash on sun- or narrow-band ultraviolet B-exposed area, which triggered the onset of acute lesions of GVHD. Any of the patients presented neither a history of photosensitivity nor circulating autoantibodies nor urinary/fecal porphyrine. Results The histopathologic findings were characterized by an interface dermatitis with sparse perivascular infiltrate of lymphocytes and scattered necrotic keratinocytes, especially in the upper part of epidermis. Direct immunofluorescence studies excluded lupus-like pattern, revealing nests of fluorescent bodies at the dermal-epidermal junction and in papillary dermis. Conclusions This peculiar isomorphic reaction of cutaneous GVHD after sun or narrow-band ultraviolet B exposures is described, and the possible mechanism involved is discussed. It may represent an interesting model of progression of chronic GVHD, starting with an acute stage and ending up with chronic clinical and histological findings, especially considering that there is no animal model that fully replicates all of the features of chronic GVHD in humans. Conflicts of interest None declared.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)913-918
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology
Volume23
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2009

Keywords

  • Cytoid bodies
  • Oncohematologic patients
  • Photosensitivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Infectious Diseases

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