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Keywords:

  • bone marrow transplantation: graft-versus-host disease;
  • labial salivary glands

Fourteen patients who received allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (BMT) were examined 100 to 220 days after BMT. Ten out of 14 patients were diagnosed as having chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD) in skin, liver, eyes and other organs. These cGVHD patients also had objective evidence of oral involvement. Subjective xerostomia was experienced by 7 cGVHD patients and decreased whole saliva flow was observed in 4 cGVHD patients. However, no patient had a history of parotid swelling or notable abnormality in parotid sialography. Labial salivary glands (LSG) of 9 cGVHD patients showed atrophy and/or destruction in association with diffusely infiltrating lymphocytes. The infiltrating lymphocytes were mainly CD3+ T cells with a predominance of CD8+ cells over CD4+ cells. Lichenoid lesions on the oral mucosa were also observed in 5 cGVHD patients. Thus, this study indicated that oral examination, including LSG biopsy, is useful in the diagnosis of cGVHD.