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Review
, 105 (4), 406-418

How We Treat Chronic Active Epstein-Barr Virus Infection

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Review

How We Treat Chronic Active Epstein-Barr Virus Infection

Akihisa Sawada et al. Int J Hematol.

Abstract

Chronic active Epstein-Barr virus infection (CAEBV) is a prototype of the EBV-associated T- or NK-cell lymphoproliferative diseases, which also include hypersensitivity to mosquito bites and severe-type hydroavacciniforme. The manifestations of CAEBV are often self-limiting with minimum supportive care or only prednisolone and cyclosporine A with or without etoposide. However, allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is the only cure, without which patients with CAEBV die within several years. A severe hypercytokinemia and hemophagocytic syndrome, which may occur suddenly, often results in a fatal clinical course. At out institute, we have established a 3-step strategy, including allogeneic HSCT, for the treatment of CAEBV. Seventy-nine patients with CAEBV and related diseases have been treated to date. The 3-year overall survival rate (3y-OS) is currently 87.3 ± 4.2% after planned allogeneic HSCT. However, 3y-OS in patients with uncontrolled active disease is only 16.7 ± 10.8%. To maximize survival rates with minimized late sequelae, we recommend earlier initiation and completion of the 3-step treatment without watchful waiting. We present six illustrative and difficult cases (including severe hypercytokinemia or emergent HSCT) and discuss them together with 73 residual cases.

Keywords: Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation; Chronic active Epstein–Barr virus infection; EBV-associated T/NK-cell lymphoproliferative diseases; Hydroa vacciniforme; Hypersensitivity to mosquito bites.

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