EBV and renal transplants 2016

Epstein-Barr virus and renal transplantation
Jade Le, Christine M Durand, Irfan Agha, Daniel C Brennan
PMID: 28089555 DOI: 10.1016/j.trre.2016.12.001


Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a gamma herpesvirus associated with diseases ranging from asymptomatic viremia to post-transplant malignancies in kidney transplant recipients.

EBV specifically is associated with post-transplantation lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD), in kidney transplant recipients, with increased risk in EBV seronegative patients with EBV seropositive donors on intensified immunosuppression.

The diagnosis of PTLD relies on clinical suspicion plus tissue biopsy with polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing of blood currently used for risk determination in high-risk recipients.

Therapeutic strategies for PTLD include reduction of immunosuppression, chemotherapy and rituximab, and consideration of sirolimus-based immunosuppression. Antivirals such as ganciclovir are used to prevent reactivation of cytomegalovirus and other herpes viruses but are not onco-therapeutic. Radiation therapy or surgery is indicated for bulky, disseminated or recalcitrant disease. Prognosis varies depending on the type of malignancy identified and stage of disease.