A low incidence of posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorder in 109 lung transplant recipients

Stephanie M. Levine, Luis F Angel, Antonio Anzueto, Irawan Susanto, Jay I. Peters, Edward Y. Sako, Charles L. Bryan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Study objectives: The incidence of posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD) has been reported to range from 6.4 to 20% in lung transplant (LT) recipients. Postulated contributing factors include Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection and the use of immunosuppression, particularly muromonab-CD3 (OKTS)(Orthoclone OKT-3; Ortho Biotech; Raritan, NJ). We sought to examine these PTLD risk factors in 109 LT recipients at our institution who survived > 1 month. Design: Retrospective review of EBV serology of all LT recipients at our institution. Our standard transplant protocol includes OKT3 for induction and refractory rejection, as well as lifelong acyclovir for herpes prophylaxis. We do not perform EBV donor-recipient matching. Setting: A university-based LT center. Results: We found that 5 of 109 patients were serologically negative for EBV prior to lung transplantation, and all of these patients converted following lung transplantation. The mean time to conversion was 151 days (range, 11 to 365 days). One fatal case of PTLD was documented in an EBV seroconverter (one of five patients) 12 weeks status posttransplantation for lymphangioleiomyomatosis. One nonfatal extrathoracic PTLD was documented in a seropositive patient (1 of 104 patients) 33 months posttransplantation. Conclusions: We conclude the following: (1) PTLD in LT recipients may have a lower incidence (2 of 109 patients; 1.8%) than previously reported, despite an aggressive immunosuppressive regimen; and (2) the incidence of PTLD is higher in patients with primary EBV infection (20% vs 1%).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1273-1277
Number of pages5
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1999


  • Epstein-Barr virus
  • Lung transplantation
  • Posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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