Background: Posttransplant lymphoproliferative disease (PTLD) remains a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in pediatric liver transplant recipients. Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) mismatch associated with more prevalent use of split-liver, reduced size, and living-related transplants has increased the risk of primary EBV infection and subsequent PTLD. Early identification of EBV viremia may reduce the risk of PTLD, because it allows for early adjustment of immunosuppression and antiviral therapy.
Methods: EBV viral load was measured monthly by quantitative competitive polymerase chain reactions in three pediatric liver transplant recipients.
Results: Onset of EBV viremia was documented in one recipient. Established EBV viremia was followed in the other two recipients (one with chronic rejection and one with PTLD) who were initially tested once monitoring was initiated in our program.
Conclusions: EBV quantitative competitive polymerase chain reactions may represent a promising way to follow EBV viral load and potentially prevent the development of PTLD.