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http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=374Fitango EducationHealth TopicsGraft Versus Host Disease
1OverviewThe immune system is the bodys tool to fightinfection and disease. It works by seeing harmfulcells as “foreign” a...
2OverviewGraft versus host disease (GVHD) is the term usedwhen this new immune system attacks your body.Your donors cells ...
3SymptomsThe signs and symptoms of GVHD are:Skin GVHD-- red rash-- itching-- darkening of skin
4DiagnosisYour doctor can diagnose GVHD from yoursymptoms, as well as from results of laboratorytests and tissue samples. ...
5DiagnosisClinical Center - National Institutes of Health:
6TreatmentGVHD treatment aims at lowering the graftsimmune response against your body, so you will begiven medication to d...
7TreatmentYou will be at greater risk for infection while youtake steroids. So along with giving you medicationfor GVHD, y...
8Treatmenthttp://www.cc.nih.gov/ccc/patient_education/pepubs/gvh.pdf
9PreventionThere is nothing you can do to prevent GVHD. Themedical team cannot predict whether you willhave GVHD. But depe...
10PreventionYou play an important role in helping the medicalteam prevent GVHD:
11Prevention1. Take the medications prescribed for you afteryour transplant. Medications such as cyclosporine,tacrolimus, ...
12Prevention2. Report any changes in your skin or in your bowelmovements.3. Protect yourself from the sun. Sun exposure ca...
13Living and copingWhen your doctor makes your treatmentplan, there will also be things you can do to helpmanage GVHD:Skin...
14Living and coping-- Avoid hot showers-- Use sunscreen with SPF 30 or greater-- Avoid prolonged sun exposure-- Wear long ...
15Living and coping-- Follow the diet prescribed by your doctor anddietitian to prevent worsening diarrhea-- Avoid spicy f...
16Living and coping-- To avoid skin problems (such as irritation)around your rectal area, it is very important tokeep this...
17Living and coping-- Stay away from sick family members and friends-- You may be asked to wear a mask-- Notify your provi...
18Living and copinghttp://www.cc.nih.gov/ccc/patient_education/pepubs/gvh.pdf
Graft Versus Host Disease
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Graft Versus Host Disease

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The immune system is the body's tool to fight infection and disease. It works by seeing harmful cells as “foreign” and attacking them.
When you receive a donor's stem cells (the “graft”), their job is to recreate the donor's immune system in your body (the “host”).
Graft versus host disease (GVHD) is the term used when this new immune system attacks your body. Your donor's cells see your body as “foreign” and attack it – causing damage. GVHD can be acute or chronic.

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Graft Versus Host Disease

  1. 1. http://www.fitango.com/categories.php?id=374Fitango EducationHealth TopicsGraft Versus Host Disease
  2. 2. 1OverviewThe immune system is the bodys tool to fightinfection and disease. It works by seeing harmfulcells as “foreign” and attacking them.When you receive a donors stem cells (the“graft”), their job is to recreate the donorsimmune system in your body (the “host”).
  3. 3. 2OverviewGraft versus host disease (GVHD) is the term usedwhen this new immune system attacks your body.Your donors cells see your body as “foreign” andattack it – causing damage. GVHD can be acute orchronic.
  4. 4. 3SymptomsThe signs and symptoms of GVHD are:Skin GVHD-- red rash-- itching-- darkening of skin
  5. 5. 4DiagnosisYour doctor can diagnose GVHD from yoursymptoms, as well as from results of laboratorytests and tissue samples. Because early symptomsof GVHD are often the same as some side effectsand complications after transplant, diagnosingGVHD can be hard. Before your doctor can make adiagnosis, your medical team will first make surethat there are other reasons for the symptoms.You can help your medical team by immediatelyreporting any changes in your skin or in your usualpattern of bowel movement
  6. 6. 5DiagnosisClinical Center - National Institutes of Health:
  7. 7. 6TreatmentGVHD treatment aims at lowering the graftsimmune response against your body, so you will begiven medication to do this. Steroids, such asprednisone and methylprednisolone, are first-linetreatments.
  8. 8. 7TreatmentYou will be at greater risk for infection while youtake steroids. So along with giving you medicationfor GVHD, your doctor may admit you to thehospital if you cannot manage diarrhea and othersymptoms at home. While you are in thehospital, you may get intravenous (I.V.) fluids andnutrition to help your body heal.Clinical Center - National Institutes of Health:
  9. 9. 8Treatmenthttp://www.cc.nih.gov/ccc/patient_education/pepubs/gvh.pdf
  10. 10. 9PreventionThere is nothing you can do to prevent GVHD. Themedical team cannot predict whether you willhave GVHD. But depending on the type of stem celltransplant you got, your doctor may give youmedications to lessen GVHD. These medicationssuppress your new immune system so that it willnot attack your bodys cells.
  11. 11. 10PreventionYou play an important role in helping the medicalteam prevent GVHD:
  12. 12. 11Prevention1. Take the medications prescribed for you afteryour transplant. Medications such as cyclosporine,tacrolimus, and sirolimus, suppress your immunesystem to make GVHD less severe. You may needto take these medications for several months afteryour transplant. It is important to take thesemedications as prescribed and to report any sideeffects. If you are unable to take your medicationsfor any reason, report this to your medical team.
  13. 13. 12Prevention2. Report any changes in your skin or in your bowelmovements.3. Protect yourself from the sun. Sun exposure cantrigger GVHD or make it worse. When you gooutside, wear a hat, long sleeves, long pants, andsunscreen. But the best protection is to avoidgoing out in the sun.Clinical Center - National Institutes of Health:
  14. 14. 13Living and copingWhen your doctor makes your treatmentplan, there will also be things you can do to helpmanage GVHD:Skin care:-- Avoid scratching-- Use moisturizing lotion. Avoid perfumed lotions
  15. 15. 14Living and coping-- Avoid hot showers-- Use sunscreen with SPF 30 or greater-- Avoid prolonged sun exposure-- Wear long sleeves and pantsDiarrhea:
  16. 16. 15Living and coping-- Follow the diet prescribed by your doctor anddietitian to prevent worsening diarrhea-- Avoid spicy foods
  17. 17. 16Living and coping-- To avoid skin problems (such as irritation)around your rectal area, it is very important tokeep this area clean. Cleanse this area well aftereach time you have diarrhea. Tell your nurse if thisarea gets red, cracked, painful, or infectedPreventing infection:-- Wash your hands often
  18. 18. 17Living and coping-- Stay away from sick family members and friends-- You may be asked to wear a mask-- Notify your provider if you have fevers, chills, orredness/pain at your catheter siteClinical Center - National Institutes of Health:
  19. 19. 18Living and copinghttp://www.cc.nih.gov/ccc/patient_education/pepubs/gvh.pdf

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