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Revista argentina de microbiología

Print version ISSN 0325-7541On-line version ISSN 1851-7617


FELLNER, María Dolores et al. Epstein-Barr virus load in transplant patients: Early detection of post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorders. Rev. argent. microbiol. [online]. 2016, vol.48, n.2, pp.110-118. ISSN 0325-7541.

High levels of circulating EBV load are used as a marker of post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorders (PTLD). There is no consensus regarding the threshold level indicative of an increase in peripheral EBV DNA. The aim of the study was to clinically validate a developed EBV quantification assay for early PTLD detection. Transversal study: paired peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), plasma and oropharyngeal lymphoid tissue (OLT) from children undergoing a solid organ transplant with (n = 58) and without (n = 47) PTLD. Retrospective follow-up: 71 paired PBMC and plasma from recipients with (n = 6) and without (n = 6) PTLD history. EBV load was determined by real-time PCR. The diagnostic ability to detect all PTLD (categories 1-4), advanced PTLD (categories 2-4) or neoplastic PTLD (categories 3 and 4) was estimated by analyzing the test performance at different cut-off values or with a load variation greater than 0.5 log units. The higher diagnostic performance for identifying all, advanced or neoplastic PTLD, was achieved with cut-off values of 1.08; 1.60 and 2.47 log EBV gEq/105 PBMC or 2.30; 2.60; 4.47 log gEq/105 OLT cells, respectively. EBV DNA detection in plasma showed high specificity but low (all categories) or high (advanced/neoplastic categories) sensitivity for PTLD identification. Diagnostic performance was greater when: (1) a load variation in PBMC or plasma was identified; (2) combining the measure of EBV load in PBMC and plasma. The best diagnostic ability to identify early PTLD stages was achieved by monitoring EBV load in PBMC and plasma simultaneously; an algorithm was proposed.

Keywords : Early PTLD detection; Lymphoma; Real-time PCR; Transplant patients; Viral load.

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