Late-onset hepatic veno-occlusive disease after allografting: report of two cases with atypical clinical features successfully treated with defibrotide.

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Alessia Castellino
Stefano Guidi
Chiara Dellacasa
Antonella Gozzini
Irene Donnini
Chiara Nozzoli
Sara Manetta
Semra Aydin
Luisa Giaccone
Moreno Festuccia
Lucia Brunello
Enrico Maffini
Benedetto Bruno
Ezio David
Alessandro Busca




Hepatic Veno-occlusive disease (VOD) is a potentially severe complication of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Here we report two patients receiving an allogeneic HSCT  who developed late onset VOD with atypical clinical features. The two  patients presented with only few risk factors, namely, advanced acute leukemia, a myeloablative busulphan-containing regimen and received grafts from an unrelated donor. The first patient did not experience painful hepatomegaly and weight gain and both  patients showed only a mild elevation in total serum bilirubin level. Most importantly, the two patients developed clinical signs beyond day 21 post-HSCT. Hepatic transjugular biopsy confirmed the diagnosis of VOD. Intravenous defibrotide was promptly started leading to a marked clinical improvement. Based on our experience, liver biopsy may represent a useful diagnostic tool when the clinical features of VOD are ambiguous. Early therapeutic intervention with defibrotide  represents a crucial issue for the successful outcome of patients with VOD.


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