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Transplantation. 2009 Oct 27;88(8):962-7. doi: 10.1097/TP.0b013e3181b9692d.

Epidemiology of pretransplant EBV and CMV serostatus in relation to posttransplant non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

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Department of Transplantation Immunology, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany.


BACKGROUND.: Despite the importance of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) as a posttransplant complication, the relationship between NHL and recipient seropositivity for Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) or cytomegalovirus (CMV) is incompletely understood. METHODS.: Kidney, heart, and liver transplant recipients reported to the Collaborative Transplant Study with known pretransplant EBV and CMV serostatus were analyzed in terms of clinically manifest NHL. Cox multivariate regression analysis was performed to account for a wide range of possible confounders. RESULTS.: In total, 18,682 kidney, 2042 heart, and 2616 liver transplant recipients were analyzed. Regardless of age, pretransplant EBV serostatus was significantly associated with risk of NHL in kidney transplant recipients (P<0.001). There was no significant difference in lymphoma rates according to CMV and CMV serostatus among EBV and EBV recipients (log-rank P=0.55 and P=0.57, respectively), but hospitalization for CMV disease during year 1 posttransplant was associated with subsequent NHL (hazard ratio [HR] 6.1; 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.0-18.4; P=0.001). EBV serostatus was also associated with increased risk of NHL in heart transplant patients (HR 3.6; 95% CI 1.1-11.3; P=0.031) but, contrary to expectation, not in liver recipients (HR 0.6; 95% CI 0.1-1.7; P=0.32). CONCLUSIONS.: In view of the striking increase in risk of NHL in EBV kidney transplant recipients of all ages, EBV serostatus should be determined pretransplant in all age groups. CMV serostatus was not independently associated with risk of NHL after kidney transplantation. Surprisingly, in liver transplantation, the risk of NHL was virtually unaffected by EBV serostatus.

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