graft-versus-host disease

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graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) n. a condition that occurs following bone marrow transplantation and sometimes blood transfusion, in which lymphocytes from the graft attack specific tissues in the host. The skin, gut, and liver are the most severely affected. Drugs that suppress the immune reaction (such as steroids and ciclosporin) and antibodies directed against lymphocytes reduce the severity of the tissue damage.