Chronic graft-versus-host disease treated with UVB phototherapy. Academic Article uri icon


  • Chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD) is a major complication of allogeneic bone marrow transplantation. Immunosuppressive treatment regimens carry the potential of causing severe morbidity and mortality, so that additional modes of therapy with fewer side-effects are clearly needed. Five cGVHD patients (sclerodermoid cGVHD in two patients, lichenoid cGVHD in one patient and intraoral cGVHD in two patients), who had not responded to standard immunosuppressive drugs, were treated with adjuvant UVB phototherapy. The patient with lichenoid cGVHD experienced complete clearing of cutaneous lesions, whereas both patients with sclerodermoid cGVHD experienced significant relief of pruritus, but showed no change of the sclerodermoid skin lesions. Intraoral lesions cleared in one patient. The effects of UVB phototherapy were furthermore documented by measurement of skin viscoelasticity and mouth opening. No side-effects were encountered. This preliminary study suggests that UVB phototherapy is useful as an adjuvant therapeutic modality in intraoral and cutaneous lichenoid cGVHD.

publication date

  • January 1, 1998