BACKGROUND: Posttransplantation lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD) is a well-recognized complication after solid-organ transplantation. Historically, most cases of PTLD among lung transplant recipients occurred within the first year from transplantation and were associated with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection. However, there are increasing reports on a late-onset form of PTLD. METHODS: We reviewed all charts of patients undergoing either lung or heart-lung transplantation in a tertiary transplantation center between the years 1997 and 2012 and compared clinical and pathologic parameters between early- and late-onset PTLD. RESULTS: Ten patients with PTLD were identified. Median (range) time from transplantation to PTLD diagnosis was 41 (4-128) months. Three patients developed early PTLD. All were pretransplantation EBV seronegative and asymptomatic when diagnosed during surveillance chest imaging. In contrast, the seven patients with late-onset PTLD were all EBV seropositive before transplantation and were symptomatic at diagnosis. Although early-onset PTLD uniformly involved the transplanted lung, this was relatively rare in late-onset PTLD (3 of 3 vs. 1 of 7). All patients were initially treated with reduction of immunosuppression, with at least one additional treatment modality used, mainly chemoimmunotherapy. Eight patients attained complete remission. With a median follow-up of 17 months, 8 patients died, mainly from treatment-related causes rather than disease progression. CONCLUSION: Our cohort of lung transplant recipients demonstrates a trend of late-onset PTLD with the majority of patients who died of treatment-related causes rather than disease progression. Therefore, substantial efforts should be focused on treatment-related mortality reduction.
- Lung transplantation
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