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Veno-Occlusive Disease in Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation Recipients

Elisabeth C. Sosa
CJON 2012, 16(5), 507-513 DOI: 10.1188/12.CJON.507-513

Veno-occlusive disease (VOD) is a potentially fatal complication of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation that affects the liver, as well as other organs. Although mild cases resolve on their own, severe cases of VOD carry a high mortality rate. The diagnosis usually is clinically based, with nonspecific signs such as weight gain, ascites, hepatomegaly, right upper quadrant abdominal pain, and elevated serum bilirubin. Although studies are ongoing, no U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved treatments for VOD exist to date. Therefore, supportive care is a critical part of the treatment plan. Oncology nurses should be familiar with the risk factors and clinical signs of VOD so that patients can be monitored closely for its occurrence. Accurate and timely recognition of VOD is crucial for appropriate treatment.

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