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Br J Radiol. 2007 May;80(953):337-46. Epub 2007 Mar 28.

Post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease in liver transplantation.

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  • 1Radiology Department, University Hospital Birmingham, Birmingham, UK.


Post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease (PTLD) is a well recognized complication of solid organ transplantation and therapeutic immunosuppression, first reported in 1968. PTLD incorporates a spectrum of abnormalities ranging from a benign infectious mononucleosis-like illness to non-Hodgkin's lymphoma with nodal and extranodal site involvement. The first liver transplant was performed at our institution in January 1982. This retrospective study examined the incidence of PTLD, reason for the original transplants, presenting symptoms, radiological findings, immunosuppression regimens and outcomes of these patients. From a total of 2005 adult liver transplants, 23 patients (1.1%) were identified with PTLD. The average age of these patients at the time of transplant was 46.5 years, with a ratio of female-to-male of 14:9. Indication for transplant ranged from primary biliary cirrhosis (eight patients) to epitheloid haemangioendothelioma (one patient). The average time interval between transplant and diagnosis of PTLD was 50 months. Imaging abnormalities identified included generalized lymphadenopathy, liver and portal masses, splenic enlargement, bowel, eye, cerebral and neck involvement; and in two patients, no radiological abnormality. The most common histological findings ranged from B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (five patients) to early PTLD in one patient. Our rate of PTLD is lower compared with published literature and demonstrates a much longer time interval from transplant to occurrence of PTLD than previously appreciated. This could be secondary to a low immunosuppression therapy followed at our institution. From a few months to several years after liver transplantation, the radiologist needs to be alert to the possibility of PTLD and thorough imaging is required to detect the wide variety of potential presentations.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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