Original Article | Published:

Treatment of acute graft-versus-host disease with PUVA (psoralen and ultraviolet irradiation): results of a pilot study

Bone Marrow Transplantation volume 23, pages 151155 (1999) | Download Citation



Acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) is a frequent and major complication after allogeneic stem cell transplantation. For many years psoralen and ultraviolet (UV)-A light have been used in the treatment of chronic cutaneous graft-versus-host disease, but few patients have received PUVA therapy for aGVHD. We assessed 20 patients who received PUVA therapy for acute cutaneous GVHD (grade 2–4). Seven patients showed additional organ manifestations (liver, gut). To better quantify the cutaneous lesions, a new scoring system was introduced: intensity of erythema (0–3) × %body surface + size of bullae (4–5) × %body surface affected. All patients received prednisolone and PUVA for treatment of aGVHD. Fifteen patients (75%), 12 with manifestations restricted to the skin, responded by score classification (average time to a 50% score reduction: 39 days) and reduction of the dosage of prednisolone (average time to a 50% prednisolone reduction: 35 days). PUVA treatment was well tolerated and might play a role in the therapy of acute cutaneous GVHD.

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  1. Department of Hematology and Oncology, University of Tübingen, Germany

    • A Wiesmann
    • , L Kanz
    •  & H Einsele
  2. Department of Dermatology, University of Tübingen, Germany

    • A Weller
    •  & G Lischka
  3. Department of Pediatrics, University of Tübingen, Germany

    • T Klingebiel


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Correspondence to H Einsele.

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