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Many faces of graft-versus-host disease


  • Pablo F Peñas, MD, PhD. Sarah Zaman, MB BS.

Associate Professor Pablo Fernández Peñas, Department of Dermatology, Westmead Hospital, Hawkesbury Road, Westmead, NSW 2145, Australia. Email:


Allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplantation is increasingly used in the treatment of malignant and non-malignant disorders. Despite ongoing advances in the field, morbidity and mortality related to graft-versus-host disease remains a major barrier to its application. Graft-versus-host disease is a difficult-to-diagnose disease. Dermatologists are involved due to its diverse cutaneous expression. In order to appropriately diagnose, classify and treat this complex disease, knowledge of its expanding cutaneous expression is required. This review provides a synopsis of the clinical manifestations of acute, lichenoid and sclerodermatous phases of graft-versus-host disease with a look at the current evidence surrounding its differential diagnosis.