EBV-Gastritis Preceded the Development of Nasopharyngeal EBV (+) Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma in a Patient With Ruxolitinib-Induced Immunosuppression

Int J Surg Pathol. 2023 Oct;31(7):1340-1346. doi: 10.1177/10668969221137525. Epub 2023 Feb 3.


Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is acquired early in life as asymptomatic or symptomatic infectious mononucleosis (IM) and remains latent in a few B cells in most individuals. Pathologic EBV-reactivation affects immunosuppressed individuals and manifests as IM-like syndromes, polyclonal lymphoproliferative disorders, EBV-related lymphomas, and carcinomas. EBV-associated gastritis is an underrecognized and very rarely reported entity. We report a case of a 65-year-old woman with ruxolitinib-treated polycythemia vera, who developed EBV viremia and EBV gastritis. The patient improved after the ruxolitinib dose reduction and administration of antiviral therapy. A few months after discontinuation of the antiviral therapy the gastric symptoms recurred, numerous gastric ulcers were identified, and a nasopharyngeal mass was detected. A biopsy of the nasopharynx showed an EBV (+) diffuse large B cell lymphoma. Ruxolitinib was discontinued and the patient was started on rituximab monotherapy with a resolution of symptoms and pathologic improvement. Our case supports earlier reports of an association of ruxolitinib therapy with EBV complications. An early diagnosis of EBV gastritis in immunocompromised patients is important since the gastric infection may precede or co-exist with a developing EBV-associated malignancy. Our case and existing literature suggest that EBV gastritis in symptomatic patients with iatrogenic immunosuppression requires discontinuation of immunosuppressive therapy if feasible, treatment with antivirals, and close surveillance for possible evolving/concurrent EBV (+) malignancy.

Keywords: Epstein-Barr virus infections; Epstein-Barr virus-induced lymphoproliferative disease; gastritis; iatrogenic disease; ruxolitinib.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antiviral Agents
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Infections* / complications
  • Female
  • Gastritis* / complications
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppression Therapy / adverse effects
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse*
  • Lymphoproliferative Disorders*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / complications


  • ruxolitinib
  • Antiviral Agents