Graft versus host disease (GVHD)

Author: Elliot Weisenberg, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 5 July 2018, last major update October 2012

Copyright: (c) 2003-2018,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Graft versus host disease esophagus

Cite this page: Weisenberg, E. Graft versus host disease (GVHD). website. Accessed October 22nd, 2018.
Definition / general
Case reports
Gross description
  • Desquamative esophagitis with web formation
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Increased intraepithelial lymphocytes, dyskeratotic squamous cells and apoptosis of individual squamous cells in noninflamed background is diagnostic
  • Also have increased submucosal fibrosis associated with mucosal esophagitis and ulceration (Gastroenterology 1981;80:914)
  • May be disparity between severity of clinical disease and biopsy findings
  • Findings may be focal, may need serial sections
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on other servers:

With lymphocytic infiltrate

Differential diagnosis
  • Scleroderma: fibrosis but no apoptotic squamous cells, different clinical history