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Transfusion associated graft versus host disease in an immunocompetent individual following coronary artery bypass grafting

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Author(s): Nagendra Girish | Ramakrishna M | Hegde Devi | Damodar Sharad | Gupta Ratan

Journal: Indian Journal of Critical Care Medicine
ISSN 0972-5229

Volume: 12;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 124;
Date: 2008;
Original page

Keywords: Cardiopulmonary bypass | engraftment | immunocompetent | irradiation | transfusion

ABSTRACT
Transfusion associated graft versus host disease (TA-GVHD) is a rare but commonly fatal complication of transfusion of cellular blood products, which usually occurs in immunosuppressed individuals following transfusion and subsequent engraftment of viable T lymphocytes. Very rarely it may arise in apparently immunocompetent individuals. The clinical syndrome consists of fever, skin rash, diarrhoea, hepatic dysfunction, and bone marrow aplasia. The outcome is nearly always fatal. We present here a case report of fatal TA-GVHD in a "presumed" immunocompetent patient, post coronary artery bypass grafting surgery after transfusion of blood products. The patient died 24 days after transfusion. There is a perceived increased risk of TA-GVHD following bypass grafting and other surgical procedures where cardiopulmonary bypass is required. TA-GVHD is probably underreported and the incidence is felt to be too low to warrant routine irradiation of cellular products for this group of patients. Clinicians, pathologists, and transfusion centers should be aware of this rare but devastating complication of blood transfusion after cardiac surgery.
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