Confocal endomicroscopy in diagnosis of intestinal chronic graft-versus-host disease.

Rieger, Kathrin; Günther, Ute; Erben, Ulrike; Kühl, Anja; Loddenkemper, Christoph; Pezzutto, Antonio; Siegmund, Britta; Bojarski, Christian; Maurer, Martin (2018). Confocal endomicroscopy in diagnosis of intestinal chronic graft-versus-host disease. Hematological oncology, 36(1), pp. 291-298. Wiley 10.1002/hon.2446

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Graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) is a major complication of allogeneic stem cell transplantation. High-resolution in vivo histology of the intestine by confocal endomicroscopy (CEM) detects acute GvHD (aGvHD) with high sensitivity. This pilot study aims to evaluate the diagnostic value of CEM for intestinal chronic GvHD (cGvHD). The study included 20 patients with gastrointestinal symptoms and confirmed cGvHD in other organs as well as 20 patients with clinically suspected acute GvHD for control. Confocal endomicroscopy was performed as gastroscopy followed by sigmoidoscopy after intravenous injection of fluorescein (10%) and topical application of acriflavine (0.05%). Histopathology from H&E-stained biopsy samples throughout the intestinal tract complemented the survey. All histological features of intestinal cGvHD were predominantly mild to moderate. Stroma fibrosis detected by standard histology (16/20 patients) was not seen by CEM. Apoptosis assessed by histology in 12/20 patients was concordant with CEM (8/12 patients). Confocal endomicroscopy revealed esophageal manifestation of cGvHD in 3 patients. For each biopsy site, CEM correlated with intestinal histology (r = 0.64). Classical histology from intestinal biopsy samples taken under CEM monitoring confirmed the final diagnosis of cGvHD. The sensitivity of CEM with 40% in cGvHD was significantly lower compared to 70% in patients with aGvHD. Confocal endomicroscopy detected acute features of cGvHD and contributed to the diagnosis of esophageal cGvHD but failed to display stroma fibrosis in vivo. Although CEM represents a useful noninvasive tool in routine diagnostic of intestinal aGvHD, the method is not sufficient to fully establish the diagnosis of cGvHD within the intestinal tract. Confocal endomicroscopy allowed acquisition of targeted biopsies in patients suspected of having cGvHD.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Radiology, Neuroradiology and Nuclear Medicine (DRNN) > Institute of Diagnostic, Interventional and Paediatric Radiology

UniBE Contributor:

Maurer, Martin


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Isabelle Ursula Saurer

Date Deposited:

14 Dec 2018 09:51

Last Modified:

14 Dec 2018 09:51

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

acute and chronic intestinal graft-versus-host disease confocal endomicroscopy in vivo histology




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