Rehabilitation of chronic graft versus host disease in children. A clinical series

G. Carenzio, P. Gherardi, M. T. Bardoni, M. Zecca, F. Bonetti, F. Locatelli, E. Dalla Toffola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The study was aimed at evaluating clinical and functional assessment and results obtained following rehabilitative treatment in children affected by chronic graft versus host disease (cGVHD) after allogeneic transplantation of hemopoietic stem cells (HSCT). From 1999 to 2003 we evaluated 6 children with cGVHD after HSCT presenting severe complications and disabilities. Clinical and functional assessment was performed prior to rehabilitative treatment (T1), at follow-up at 6 (T6) and 12 (T12) months after treatment. Each child received a personalized rehabilitative treatment program based on the use of neuromotor re-education techniques, massotherapy, chest rehabilitation and occupational therapy. Six children presented sclerodermoid skin lesions, joint contractures, anchylosis, respiratory insufficiency, postural and walking alterations which led to reduction in motor performance and autonomy in daily living activity. After 1 year of rehabilitation treatment, 3 patients showed improvement in motor performance, 2 remained stable and 1 patient worsened. Rehabilitative treatment associated with pharmacological therapy has proven to be useful in patients affected by cGVHD. We believe that cGVHD is a pathology which must be seen by a physiatrist as early as possible at onset of first cutaneous signs of cGVHD to limit its invalidating evolution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)445-450
Number of pages6
JournalEuropa Medicophysica
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007


  • Cell transplantation
  • Child
  • Graft vs host disease
  • Hematopoietic stem cells
  • Rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation


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