Overlap subtype of chronic graft-versus-host disease is associated with an adverse prognosis, functional impairment, and inferior patient-reported outcomes: A Chronic Graft-versus-Host Disease Consortium study

Joseph Pidala, Georgia Vogelsang, Paul Martin, Xiaoyu Chai, Barry Storer, Steven Pavletic, Daniel J. Weisdorf, Madan Jagasia, Corey Cutler, Jeanne Palmer, David Jacobsohn, Sally Arai, Stephanie J. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

45 Scopus citations


Background: The National Institutes of Health Consensus Conference proposed the term "overlap" graft-versus-host disease to describe the situation when both acute and chronic graft-versus-host disease are present. Design and Methods: We examined whether the overlap subtype of graft-versus-host disease was associated with a different prognosis, functional limitations, or patient-reported outcomes compared to "classic" chronic graft-versus-host disease without any acute features. Results: Prospective data were collected from 427 patients from nine centers. Patients were classified as having overlap (n=352) or classic chronic (n=75) graft-versus-host disease based on reported organ involvement. Overlap cases had a significantly shorter median time from transplantation to cohort enrollment (P=0.01), were more likely to be incident cases (P<0.001), and had a lower platelet count at onset of the graft-versus-host disease (P<0.001). Patients with overlap graft-versus-host disease had significantly greater functional impairment measured by a 2-minute walk test, higher symptom burden and lower Human Activity Profile scores. Quality of life was similar, except patients with overlap graft-versus-host disease had worse social functioning, assessed by the Short Form-36. Multivariable analysis utilizing time-varying covariates demonstrated that the overlap subtype of graft-versus-host disease was associated with worse overall survival (HR 2.1, 95% CI 1.1-4.7; P=0.03) and higher non-relapse mortality (HR 2.8, 95% CI 1.2-8.3; P=0.02) than classic chronic graft-versus-host disease. Conclusions: These findings suggest that the presence of acute features in patients with chronic graft-versus-host disease is a marker of adverse prognosis, greater functional impairment, and higher symptom burden.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)451-458
Number of pages8
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2012



  • GVHD
  • Graft-versus-host disease
  • Overlap subtype
  • Prognosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology

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