A List of Commonly Used Terms in Blood Banking

Graft-vs-Host Disease (GVHD)

A general term for any disease where something put into someone’s body reacts against that person’s tissues or cells. In general, this happens most commonly in the setting of organ or progenitor cell transplantation, where transplanted lymphocytes or “passenger” lymphocytes (in the setting of organ transplantation, these are lymphocytes that just “ride along” with the organ) attack the transplant recipient’s tissues and/or cells. Transfusion medicine specialists are involved in this form of GVHD in therapeutic settings (such as when implementing photopheresis treatment, but we spend more time preventing Transfusion-associated GVHD, a specific, deadly of GVHD that occurs after transfusion rather than transplantation.

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