Benefits and challenges with diagnosing chronic and late acute GVHD in children using the NIH consensus criteria

Geoffrey D.E. Cuvelier, Eneida R. Nemecek, Justin T. Wahlstrom, Carrie L. Kitko, Victor A. Lewis, Tal Schechter, David A. Jacobsohn, Andrew C. Harris, Michael A. Pulsipher, Henrique Bittencourt, Sung Won Choi, Emi H. Caywood, Kimberly A. Kasow, Monica Bhatia, Benjamin R. Oshrine, Allyson Flower, Sonali Chaudhury, Donald Coulter, Joseph H. Chewning, Michael JoyceSüreyya Savaşan, Anna B. Pawlowska, Gail C. Megason, David Mitchell, Alexandra C. Cheerva, Anita Lawitschka, Lori J. West, Bo Pan, Yazid N. Al Hamarneh, Anat Halevy, Kirk R. Schultz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD) and late acute graft-versus-host disease (L-aGVHD) are understudied complications of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in children. The National Institutes of Health Consensus Criteria (NIH-CC) were designed to improve the diagnostic accuracy of cGVHD and to better classify graft-versushost disease (GVHD) syndromes but have not been validated in patients <18 years of age. The objectives of this prospective multi-institution study were to determine: (1) whether the NIH-CC could be used to diagnose pediatric cGVHD and whether the criteria operationalize well in a multi-institution study; (2) the frequency of cGVHD and L-aGVHD in children using theNIH-CC; and (3) the clinical features and risk factors for cGVHDand L-aGVHD using the NIH-CC. Twenty-seven transplant centers enrolled 302 patients <18 years of age before conditioning and prospectively followed them for 1 year posttransplant for development of cGVHD. Centers justified their cGVHD diagnosis according to the NIHCC using central review and a study adjudication committee. A total of 28.2% of reported cGVHD cases was reclassified, usually as L-aGVHD, following study committee review. Similar incidence of cGVHD and L-aGVHD was found (21% and 24.7%, respectively). The most common organs involved with diagnostic or distinctive manifestations of cGVHD in children include the mouth, skin, eyes, and lungs. Importantly, the 2014 NIHCC for bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome perform poorly in children. Past acute GVHD and peripheral blood grafts are major risk factors for cGVHD and L-aGVHD, with recipients ≥12 years of age being at risk for cGVHD. Applying theNIH-CC in pediatrics is feasible and reliable; however, further refinement of the criteria specifically for children is needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)304-316
Number of pages13
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 18 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology


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