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Bone Marrow Transplant. 2002 Mar;29(6):519-21.

Allogeneic bone marrow transplantation for active Epstein-Barr virus-related lymphoproliferative disease and hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis in an infant with severe combined immunodeficiency syndrome.

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Kinderklinik and Kinderpoliklinik, Dr von Haunersches Kinderspital, University of Munich, Lindwurmstrasse 4, D-80337 Munich, Germany.


A 5-month-old male presented with fever, hepatosplenomegaly, leukocytosis with atypical lymphoblasts, anemia and thrombocytopenia. Severe combined imunodeficiency syndrome (T-, B+, NK+), B lymphoproliferative disease and hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis triggered by Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) were diagnosed. As his clinical situation deteriorated rapidly, BMT was performed with unmanipulated marrow stem cells from his EBV-positive HLA-identical sister after conditioning with dexamethasone (1.75 mg/kg/day), cyclophosphamide (114 mg/kg) and etoposide (10 mg/kg), with no immunosuppression given post transplant. Engraftment occurred on day 6 with explosive proliferation of donor CD8(+) T cells. The patient died 3 days later from acute respiratory distress syndrome. Autopsy revealed full donor engraftment and no signs of hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis or B lymphoproliferative disease. Thus, transplanted T cells can expand very rapidly within days after BMT and clear EBV lymphoproliferative disease and hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis.

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