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Pediatr Transplant. 2010 Nov;14(7):852-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-3046.2010.01352.x.

Exploring beyond viral load testing for EBV lymphoproliferation: role of serum IL-6 and IgE assays as adjunctive tests.

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Division of Infectious Disease, The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.


We examined serum IL-6 and IgE assays as adjuncts to VL monitoring for PTLD. Paediatric solid organ transplant recipients were followed with VL monitoring. VL, IL-6, and IgE assays were compared between PTLD cases and non-cases at <3, 3-6 and >6 months after transplantation. Median IL-6 levels in PTLD cases were 15.5 (2.0-87.1) and 23.3 (2.1-276) pg/mL compared with 3.25 (0.92-114) and 3.5 (0.75-199.25) pg/mL in non-cases at 3-6 and >6 months, respectively (p = 0.006 and p = 0.005). At >6 months, IL-6 levels correlated with VL and PTLD occurrence (Spearman's coefficients = 0.40; p = 0.001 and 0.32; p = 0.003) in univariate analyses. No benefit was derived from performance of IgE levels. The sensitivity and specificity of high VL as a test of PTLD were 76.3% and 92.5%, while the negative predictive value and PPV of VL were 94.9% and 68.4%, respectively. Combining elevated IL-6 with high VL increased the PPV and specificity to 80% and 96.2%, respectively, and improved the receiver operating characteristic curve. Serum IL-6 levels can improve the clinician's ability to identify PTLD, among patients with elevated EBV viral loads.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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