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Cancer. 1995 Oct 15;76(8):1481-9.

Epstein-Barr virus-associated leiomyosarcomas in liver transplantation recipients. Origin from either donor or recipient tissue.

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Department of Pathology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, USA.



Leiomyosarcoma, a mesenchymal malignancy with smooth muscle differentiation, is extremely rare in children. Immunosuppression, due to either antirejection medication in organ transplantation recipients or human immunodeficiency virus infection (HIV), appears to constitute a predisposition.


Two cases of leiomyosarcoma in pediatric liver transplantation recipients were investigated and compared clinically with respect to site of origin and course of the disease and pathologically by routine histology and electron microscopy, by forensic DNA methodology for origin from donor or recipient tissue, and by EBER-1 in situ hybridization for evidence of latent Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection.


A 9-year-old male developed a high grade, poorly differentiated leiomyosarcoma in his allografted liver 2 years after transplantation, and despite antineoplastic chemotherapy, he died of metastatic disease. The genotype of his tumor indicated an origin from allografted tissue. A 12-year-old female had a low grade retroperitoneal leiomyosarcoma involving the superior mesenteric vein. After resection, she remained disease free without chemotherapy. The genotype of her tumor indicated an origin from native tissue. In both tumors, latent EBV infection was documented.


Neoplastic smooth muscle proliferation in immunosuppressed liver transplantation recipients is analogous to the more common posttransplantation lymphoproliferative disorder in involving transformation of either engrafted donor tissue or recipient tissue elsewhere in the body, in displaying a wide spectrum of histologic differentiation, grade and clinical behavior, and in exhibiting evidence of latent EBV infection.

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