Background. Posttransplant lymphoproliferative disease (PTLD) is now a widely recognized complication of lung transplantation. In the current study, we present our experience with PTLD over a 15-year period, which includes the incidence rates in 242 lung allografts and the relative risk of developing PTLD in 146 patients with known pretransplantation Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) status. Methods. Inpatient and outpatient charts of 300 consecutive lung transplant recipients between 1984 and 1999 were retrospectively reviewed. Results. Twelve cases of PTLD were observed for a total incidence rate of 5.0%. Ten of these patients had pretransplantation EBV testing, and the consequent increase in relative risk for patients who were EBV negative was 6.8-fold. The mean time between organ transplantation and tissue diagnosis of PTLD was 17.6 months. Total 1-year survival rate from the time of diagnosis for the cohort was 58%, whereas 2-year survival rate was 50%. Median survival for the six patients who died was 4.5 months. Conclusions. These data suggest that although EBV seronegativity does carry a 6.8-fold increase in the relative risk of developing PTLD, long-term survival despite the development of PTLD can be achieved, and thus EBV seronegativity by itself should not be considered a contraindication to lung transplantation.
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