Post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease

Vikas R. Dharnidharka, Carlos E. Araya

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57 Scopus citations


Post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease (PTLD) emerged in the mid-1990s as a major graft- and life-threatening complication of pediatric kidney transplantation. This condition, usually involving uncontrolled B lymphocyte proliferation, straddles the border between infection and malignancy, since Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is intimately associated with the pathogenesis. PTLD is seen more in younger children (more likely to be EBV seronegative), Caucasian race, and in association with the more potent immunosuppression drugs. The clinical presentation typically involves multiple enlarged lymph nodes but varies based on localization of the lymphadenopathy. The diagnosis is based primarily on histopathological features. Treatment strategies include reduction of immunosuppression, use of anti-B cell antibodies, infusion of EBV-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes, and chemotherapy. Many different strategies have been tried to prevent PTLD, ranging from serial EBV viral load monitoring and pre-emptive immunosuppression reduction to anti-viral prophylaxis. None of the major treatment or prevention strategies has been subject to randomized clinical trials, so their relative efficacy is still unknown. PTLD remains a risk factor for graft loss, though re-transplants have not, to date, been associated with repeat PTLD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)731-736
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Nephrology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2009


  • Kidney
  • Pediatrics
  • Post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease


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