2020 Volume 251 Issue 2 Pages 81-85
Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is a potentially life-threatening complication of allogeneic stem cell transplantation (Allo-SCT). Chronic GVHD, which typically presents more than 100 days after Allo-SCT, can resemble manifestations of autoimmune disease; however, there are only a few reports on the development of Crohn’s disease (CD) after Allo-SCT. Here, we report a case of steroid-refractory CD after umbilical cord blood transplantation (CBT), which was dramatically improved with administration of anti-tumor necrosis factor-alpha (anti-TNF-alpha) antibodies. A 21-year-old woman with refractory Hodgkin lymphoma underwent CBT and achieved complete remission. About 1 year after CBT, she complained of intermittent abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea, and colonoscopy revealed multiple longitudinal colonic ulcers with a cobblestone appearance; thus, based on the colonoscopy findings, she was diagnosed with CD. We considered a CD-like manifestation of gastrointestinal GVHD and initially administered steroids, but the therapeutic effect was poor. Then, we administered anti-TNF-alpha antibodies, infliximab, and then adalimumab, which resulted in rapid improvement of abdominal symptoms, with no recurrence despite discontinuation of this therapy. Anti-TNF-alpha antibodies are effective for CD after Allo-SCT, which can be considered as a subsequent complication of GVHD.