Endocrine complications in patients with GVHD

Amit Akirov*, Anna M. Sawka, Sharon Ben-Barouch, Jeffrey Lipton, Shereen Ezzat

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is an immune phenomenon that occurs in 30 to 70% of patients after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HST). Chronic GVHD is a state of immune dysregulation wherein, depending on the severity and organ involved, patients may require prolonged treatment with additional or higher corticosteroids and other immunosuppressive agents. The objective of this study was to review the endocrine manifestations following HST that can arise as a consequence of the primary disease or its treatment, including chemotherapeutic agents, corticosteroids, radiation, or GVHD. Methods: We performed a narrative review of GVHD after HST. An English-language search for relevant studies was conducted on PubMed from inception to August 1, 2018, using the following search terms: “endocrine complications,” “bone marrow transplantation,” “graft-versus-host disease,” and “GVHD.” The reference lists of relevant studies were also reviewed. Results: Chronic GVHD may be associated with considerable pediatric growth impairment and may also contribute to thyroid gland dysfunction and thyroid cancer. These patients may also be at increased risk for low bone mineral density, reduced fertility, metabolic syndrome, and suppression of the pituitary-adrenal axis with adrenal insufficiency. Conclusion: This review indicates the importance of monitoring, diagnosing, and properly treating the endocrine complications in this population. More studies are needed to investigate the independent impact of GVHD on the endocrine system and treatment for complications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)485-490
Number of pages6
JournalEndocrine Practice
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2019


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