Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Case Reports in Transplantation
Volume 2019, Article ID 7890673, 5 pages
Case Report

Mesenchymal Stem Cell Therapy Overcomes Steroid Resistance in Severe Gastrointestinal Acute Graft-Versus-Host Disease

1Department of Pediatrics, Ehime University Graduate School of Medicine, Ehime, Japan
2Department of Pediatrics, Ehime Prefectural Central Hospital, Ehime, Japan

Correspondence should be addressed to Kozo Nagai;

Received 24 March 2019; Accepted 14 May 2019; Published 21 May 2019

Academic Editor: Janez Jazbec

Copyright © 2019 Kyoko Moritani et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The authors describe the high effectiveness of human mesenchymal stem cell (hMSC) therapy to treat steroid-refractory gastrointestinal acute graft-versus-host Disease (aGVHD) in a 15-year-old boy with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). He received allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation due to high-risk hypodiploid ALL. Around the time of engraftment, he developed severe diarrhea following high-grade fever and erythema. Although methylprednisolone pulse therapy was added to tacrolimus and mycophenolate mofetil, diarrhea progressed up to 5000~6000 ml/day and brought about hypocalcemia, hypoalbuminemia, and edema. Daily fresh frozen plasma (FFP), albumin, and calcium replacements were required to maintain blood circulation. After aGVHD was confirmed by colonoscopic biopsy, MSC therapy was administered. The patient received 8 biweekly intravenous infusions of 2×106 hMSCs/kg for 4 weeks, after which additional 4 weekly infusions were performed. A few weeks after initiation, diarrhea gradually resolved, and at the eighth dose of hMSC, lab data improved without replacements. MSC therapy successfully treated steroid-refractory gastrointestinal GVHD without complications. Despite life-threatening diarrhea, the regeneration potential of children and adolescents undergoing SMC therapy successfully supports restoration of gastrointestinal damage. Even with its high treatment costs, SMC therapy should be proactively considered in cases where young patients suffer from severe gastrointestinal GVHD.