nbmtLINK - National Bone Marrow Transplant Link
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Survivorship Guide for Bone Marrow/Stem Cell Transplant
Coping with Late Effects

Other Health Concerns

In addition to targeting organs, GVHD can target the immune system itself, including the bone marrow and the thymus, where certain white blood cells known as T-lymphocytes mature. By attacking the immune system, chronic GVHD can impact a person’s general immune function and ability to fight infections.

Lung damage following transplant can be a result of damage from radiation, chemotherapy, or from GVHD. When lung damage is mild, there are often no symptoms, and the only evidence is poor results on pulmonary function tests. Symptoms of lung GVHD may include coughing, wheezing, labored breathing, and bronchitis. Early recognition and treatment of the inflammation is important.

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