Surgical complications of bone marrow transplantation

Andrew D. Jones, Richard Maziarz, Jason Gilster, John Domreis, Clifford W. Deveney, Brett C. Sheppard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Background: We wished to determine the type of diseases in patients who received bone marrow transplant (BMT) that potentially involve the general surgeon at our institution. Methods: The records of 542 patients who underwent bone marrow transplant at Oregon Health and Sciences University between January 1990 and December 2000 were retrospectively reviewed. Gastrointestinal complications included in the study were gastrointestinal bleeding, venoocclusive disease of the liver, intestinal graft versus host disease, pneumatosis intestinalis, necrotizing enteritis, as well as other more common surgical diseases (eg, appendicitis). Results: Gastrointestinal complications or surgical consultations were noted in 92 of 542 patients (17%). Of these, formal general surgical consultation was obtained in 48 patients (9%). The most common causes for surgical consult were cholecystitis (5), abdominal pain of unknown etiology (5), central line complications (5), small bowel obstruction (4), and appendicitis (4). Twenty-eight (58%) of these patients received an operation. Six patients (13%) died during the same hospitalization as their surgery consult. Forty-four patients with these gasatrointestinal symptoms related to transplantation did not receive surgical consult. The mortality in this group was 45%. Conclusions: The majority of gastrointestinal complications after bone marrow transplant do not require surgical intervention. However, these conditions may overlap the more common reasons for surgical consult and must be identifiable by the general surgeon. Of patients who did require surgical intervention, it was primarily for common surgical diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)481-484
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican journal of surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2003


  • Bone marrow transplant
  • Gastrointestinal complications
  • Graft versus host disease
  • Vasoocclusive disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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