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Transplantation. 2005 Jul 27;80(2):176-84.

Characteristic pattern of chromosomal imbalances in posttransplantation lymphoproliferative disorders: correlation with histopathological subcategories and EBV status.

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  • 1Centre de génétique, Hematological section of the Center of Human Genetics, Cliniques Universitaires St-Luc-UCL, Bruxelles, Belgium.



Posttransplantation lymphoproliferative disorders (PTLDs) are a spectrum of lymphoid proliferations, occurring in immunosuppressed organ transplant recipients. They comprise early lesions, polymorphic (P-PTLD), monomorphic (M-PTLD), and Hodgkin/Hodgkin-like lymphoma PTLD (HL-PTLD) lesions. Most of them are associated with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). Little is known about their genetic changes.


We have studied 35 PTLDs[7 P-PTLDs (3/7 polyclonal IgH), 26 M-PTLDs (22 B-cell PTLD, 4 T-cell PTLD), 2 HL-PTLDs], using comparative genomic hybridization (CGH), a DNA-based technique allowing a screening of chromosomal imbalances without needing cultured cells. RESULTS.: Overall incidence of chromosomal imbalances: 51.5 %. The most frequent gains involved 8q24, 3q27 [4 cases each]; 2p24p25, 5p, 9q22q34, 11, 12q22q24, 14q32, 17q, 18q21 [2 cases each]. Nonrandom losses were 17p13 [4 cases]; 1p36, 4q [3 cases each]; 17q23q25, Xp [2 cases each]. Three high-level amplifications were detected: 4p16, 9p22p24, 18q21q23. In this latter imbalance, involvement of Bcl2 has been confirmed by FISH. The nonrandom CGH imbalances occurring in M-PTLD are usually described in lymphomas of immunocompetent patients and contain genes known to be involved in lymphomagenesis, while genomic abnormalities detected in half cases of EBV positive P-PTLD are mostly unknown.


This study reported nonrandom chromosomal imbalances in PTLD and also identified early genomic alterations in EBV positive P-PTLD. These results raise two questions: the role of such lesions in the development and progression of those EBV induced-lymphoproliferations and their clinical significance especially in P-PTLD.

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