June 2013
Volume 54, Issue 15
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2013
Characterization of patients with ocular chronic graft-versus-host disease and evaluation of a new grading scale
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Christiane Blecha
    Ophthalmology, University Hospital Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany
  • Daniel Wolff
    Hematology and Oncology, University Hospital Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany
  • David Maerker
    Ophthalmology, University Hospital Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany
  • Horst Helbig
    Ophthalmology, University Hospital Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany
  • Tina Dietrich-Ntoukas
    Ophthalmology, University Hospital Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships Christiane Blecha, None; Daniel Wolff, None; David Maerker, None; Horst Helbig, None; Tina Dietrich-Ntoukas, None
  • Footnotes
    Support None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2013, Vol.54, 5420. doi:https://doi.org/
  • Views
  • Share
  • Tools
    • Alerts
      This feature is available to authenticated users only.
      Sign In or Create an Account ×
    • Get Citation

      Christiane Blecha, Daniel Wolff, David Maerker, Horst Helbig, Tina Dietrich-Ntoukas; Characterization of patients with ocular chronic graft-versus-host disease and evaluation of a new grading scale. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2013;54(15):5420. doi: https://doi.org/.

      Download citation file:

      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

  • Supplements

Purpose: Ocular chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD) is one of the most frequent complications after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (alloHSCT). It often leads to reduced quality of life due to severe ocular discomfort or even vision loss in severe cases. Purpose of the study was to characterize patients with ocular cGVHD.

Methods: All patients with ocular symptoms in the HSCT clinic were examined ophthalmologically. Complete ocular examination was performed and subjective symptoms of keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS) assessed. Diagnosis of cGVHD was based on the NIH consensus criteria for cGVHD. A new grading scale was applied, which was proposed by the Consensus Conference on Clinical Practice in cGVHD (Dietrich-Ntoukas et al., 2011). Statistical analyses were performed using SPSS Version 20 (IBM SPSS, Armonk, NY, USA).

Results: 35 patients (male n=25, female n=10, mean age 50 years) with ocular cGVHD were included. 95% of the patients suffered from a cGVHD of other organs, mostly of oral mucosa (62%) and the skin (62%). 94% of the patients showed blepharitis, 91% conjunctival manifestations. 71% suffered from corneal involvement (punctate keratopathy (97%), filamentary keratitis (26%), corneal scarring (23%), corneal erosion (17%), corneal ulcer (12%)). The new grading scale revealed inflammatory activity in all patients (mild (26%), moderate (43%) or severe (31%)). Results of the NIH scoring system: 0% score 0 (no symptoms); 0% score 1 (mild symptoms of dry eye or asymptomatic signs of KCS); 43% score 2 (moderate dry eye symptoms partially affecting activities of daily living, requiring drops > 3x per day or punctual plugs, without vision impairment); 57% score 3 (severe dry eye symptoms significantly affecting daily activities or loss of vision because of KCS). All 35 patients used artificial tears, 29 used topical cyclosporine and 7 autologous serum eye drops.

Conclusions: Patients with ocular cGVHD frequently have severe ocular surface disease based on impaired function of the lacrimal gland but also of the conjunctiva and the lids, mostly associated with ongoing inflammatory activity. The latter is currently not covered by the NIH grading. Ophthalmological assessment of patients after alloHSCT including lids, conjunctiva and inflammatory activity is necessary to confirm the diagnosis, to optimize the therapy and to prevent irreversible complications.

Keywords: 486 cornea: tears/tear film/dry eye • 557 inflammation • 576 lacrimal gland  

This PDF is available to Subscribers Only

Sign in or purchase a subscription to access this content. ×

You must be signed into an individual account to use this feature.