Epstein-Barr virus-related post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder in solid organ transplant recipients

Clin Microbiol Infect. 2014 Sep;20 Suppl 7:109-18. doi: 10.1111/1469-0691.12534.


Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) contributes to the pathogenesis of post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease (PTLD) in more than 70% of cases. EBV DNAemia surveillance has been reported to assist in the prevention and treatment of PTLD in hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (HSCT) recipients. Derived from experience in HSCT and taking into account that PCR-based EBV monitoring techniques are currently available in most solid organ transplant (SOT) centres, there is a great interest in EBV surveillance and prevention of PTLD in SOT recipients. In the present document we have tried to address from a practical perspective different important topics regarding the prevention and management of EBV-related PTLD in SOT. To this end, available information on SOT was analysed and combined with potentially useful data from HSCT and expert observations. The document is therefore structured according to different specific questions, each of them culminating in a consensus opinion of the panel of European experts, grading the answers according to internationally recognized levels of evidence. The addressed issues were grouped under the following topics. (i) Timing and epidemiological data of PTLD. Prophylaxis guided by clinical risk factors of early and late PTLD in SOT. (ii) Relationship of EBV DNAemia load monitoring and the development of PTLD in solid organ transplant recipients. (iii) Monitoring of EBV DNAemia after SOT. Which population should be monitored? What is the optimal timing of the monitoring? (iv) Management of SOT recipients with persistent and/or increasing EBV DNAemia.

Keywords: Epstein Barr virus; post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease; recommendations; risk factors; viral kinetics.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Epidemiological Monitoring
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Infections / diagnosis
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Infections / epidemiology*
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Infections / prevention & control
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Infections / therapy
  • Humans
  • Immunocompromised Host
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Lymphoproliferative Disorders / diagnosis
  • Lymphoproliferative Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Lymphoproliferative Disorders / prevention & control
  • Lymphoproliferative Disorders / therapy
  • Mass Screening / methods
  • Molecular Diagnostic Techniques
  • Opportunistic Infections / diagnosis
  • Opportunistic Infections / epidemiology*
  • Opportunistic Infections / prevention & control*
  • Opportunistic Infections / therapy
  • Organ Transplantation*
  • Transplant Recipients*


  • Immunosuppressive Agents