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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 20

of 'Management of acute chemotherapy-related diarrhea'

The incidence, pathogenesis and natural history of steatorrhea after bone marrow transplantation.
Grigg AP, Angus PW, Hoyt R, Szer J
Bone Marrow Transplant. 2003 Apr;31(8):701-3.
A small number of case reports of steatorrhoea after allogenic BMT have been published, but the incidence and natural history of this complication have not been defined. We reviewed the incidence of steatorrhoea in 184 consecutive allograft recipients surviving at least 100 days. Steatorrhoea was documented in five patients, a median of 5.5 months (range 4-14) post-transplant. All patients had recent or concomitant acute gut or liver graft versus host disease (GVHD). The probability of developing steatorrhoea by 2 years post-transplant was 3.3% (95% confidence interval (CI) +/- 2.9% in the group overall, rising to 4.8% (CI +/- 4.2%) in patients with acute and/or extensive chronic GVHD. All patients responded clinically to pancreatic enzyme supplements. While these observations are consistent with previously reported autopsy data suggesting that GVHD of the exocrine pancreas is likely to be predominant underlying pathological process, in two patients concomitant small bowel or hepatic dysfunction may have contributed to the severity of steatorrhoea. Enzyme supplements were subsequently ceased in three patients without return of steatorrhoea, suggesting that the process is usually reversible. Our data demonstrate that steatorrhoea is not infrequent complication in the 2 years postallograft, particularly in patients with GVHD.
Department of Clinical Haematology and Medical Oncology, The Royal Melbourne Hospital, Parkville, Victoria, Australia.