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Complete resolution of gastric antral vascular ectasia after autologous haematopoietic stem cell transplantation in systemic sclerosis
  1. Shiri Keret1,
  2. Tsila Zuckerman2,
  3. Israel Henig2,
  4. Tova Rainis3,
  5. Safwat Odeh3,
  6. Naim Artoul3,
  7. Aniela Shouval1,
  8. Gleb Slobodin1,
  9. Doron Rimar1
  1. 1 Rheumatology, Bnai Zion Medical Center, Haifa, Israel
  2. 2 Department of Hematology and Bone Marrow Transplantation, Rambam Medical Center, Haifa, Israel
  3. 3 Gastroenterology, Bnai Zion Medical Center, Haifa, Israel
  1. Correspondence to Dr Doron Rimar, Rheumatology, Bnai Zion Medical Center, Haifa, Israel; doronrimar{at}

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Gastric antral vascular ectasia (GAVE) is a known vascular gastrointestinal (GI) complication of systemic sclerosis (SSc), characterised by an endoscopic appearance, named ‘watermelon stomach’.1 The prevalence of GAVE is as high as 45% in SSc patients with RNA POL III antibodies.1 GAVE carries significant morbidity due to recurrent GI bleeding, requiring blood transfusions and repeated argon plasma coagulation (APC) procedures.2 There is no well-established therapy for GAVE. Autologous haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (AHSCT) is grade A therapy for early diffuse progressive SSc,3 the population at risk for GAVE. During the conditioning period, thrombocytopenia may result in bleeding from active GAVE. In the SCOT trial, patients with active GAVE were excluded from the study and accordingly many centres currently avoid transplanting patients with GAVE.4 AHSCT has been described to improve anaemia in patients with GAVE after AHSCT in one report.2

We retrospectively evaluated the efficacy and safety of AHSCT …

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  • Handling editor Josef S Smolen

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  • Contributors SK: data collection and analysis, writing. TZ: contributed data, supervision. IH: contributed data. TR: contributed data, resources. SO: contributed data, resources. NA: contributed data, resources. AS: writing review and editing. GS: writing review and editing, supervision. DR: project administration, conceptualisation.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.