Posttransplantation lymphoproliferative disorder in children: clinical, histopathologic, and imaging features

Radiology. 2000 Oct;217(1):16-25. doi: 10.1148/radiology.217.1.r00oc3816.


Posttransplantation lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD) is a condition in patients who receive transplants in which chronic immunosuppression leads to an unregulated expansion of lymphoid cells; the condition ranges from hyperplasia to malignant lymphoid proliferation. Risk factors affecting the incidence of PTLD include allograft type, Epstein-Barr virus infection, and immunosuppression. In this article, we review the clinical, histopathologic, and imaging features of PTLD in children. Because PTLD can affect nearly any organ system, a wide variety of clinical manifestations is possible. The heterogeneous nature of the disease is also reflected on imaging studies. The goals of imaging in patients with PTLD are to detect disease, guide biopsy, and direct appropriate follow-up imaging rather than to establish a specific diagnosis. Because the clinical and imaging manifestations of PTLD are nonspecific and are not reliably predictive of histopathologic subtype, tissue biopsy is necessary for final diagnosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy
  • Child
  • Diagnostic Imaging
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Infections / complications*
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppression Therapy / adverse effects*
  • Lymphoproliferative Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Lymphoproliferative Disorders / etiology*
  • Lymphoproliferative Disorders / pathology
  • Organ Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Risk Factors