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J Med Case Rep. 2011 Jan 12;5:5. doi: 10.1186/1752-1947-5-5.

Epstein Barr Virus-positive large T-cell lymphoma presenting as acute appendicitis 17 years after cadaveric renal transplant: a case report.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Banner Estrella Medical Center, 9201 W, Thomas Road, Phoenix, AZ 85037, USA. shiva.ratuapli@bannerhealth.com.



The majority of post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorders in renal transplant patients are of the B-cell phenotype, while the T-cell phenotype is rare. We report a case of Epstein Barr Virus-positive, T-cell lymphoma in a renal transplant patient, presenting unusually as acute appendicitis.


A 45-year-old Hispanic male renal transplant patient presented with right-side abdominal pain 17 years after transplant. The laboratory studies were unremarkable. Laparoscopic exploration showed an inflamed appendix so a laparoscopic appendectomy was performed. Pathology of the appendix showed large cells positive for CD3, CD56 and Epstein Barr Virus-encoded RNA staining, and negative for CD20 and CD30. The tissue tested positive for T-cell receptor gene rearrangement by polymerase chain reaction analysis. Treatment management involved reduction of immunosuppression and initiation of chemotherapy with cisplatin, etoposide, gemcitabine, and solumedrol followed by cyclophosphamide, hydroxydaunorubicin, vincristine and prednisone). He recovered and the allo-grafted kidney is fully functional.


We report a rare case of post-renal transplant large T-cell lymphoma, with an unusual presentation of acute appendicitis and Epstein Barr Virus-positivity, which responded well to chemotherapy.

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