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J Infect Dis. 1997 Dec;176(6):1462-7.

Posttransplant lymphoproliferative disease in primary Epstein-Barr virus infection after liver transplantation: the role of cytomegalovirus disease.

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  • 1Pittsburgh Transplantation Institute, Department of Surgery, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15261, USA.


Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) plays a major role in the pathogenesis of posttransplant lymphoproliferative disease (PTLD). Patients who undergo primary EBV infection after transplantation are at greater risk of developing PTLD. In this retrospective study, the incidence of EBV infection and associated PTLD in 40 consecutive adult recipients who were seronegative for EBV at the time of liver transplantation were investigated, and risk factors for PTLD were analyzed. Of 37 patients with available timely posttransplant serum samples, 35 (95%) developed primary EBV infection. Of the 40 patients, 13 (33%) developed PTLD a median of 126 days (range, 48-776) after liver transplantation. The factor significantly associated with the development of PTLD was cytomegalovirus disease (relative risk, 7.3; 95% confidence interval, 2.36-22.6; P = .0006). Cytomegalovirus disease is a predictor for the development of PTLD in primary EBV infection after liver transplantation, and it may be a target for prophylactic intervention.

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