Large-vessel arteritis associated with chronic active Epstein-Barr virus infection

Arthritis Rheum. 1998 Feb;41(2):369-73. doi: 10.1002/1529-0131(199802)41:2<369::AID-ART22>3.0.CO;2-S.


This report describes an autopsy case of large-vessel arteritis associated with chronic active Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection in a 10-year-old Japanese girl. All of the 3 main coronary arteries, bilateral common carotid and subclavian arteries, abdominal aorta and its major branches, and bilateral common iliac arteries were involved, and all showed aneurysmal dilation of the lumens. Histopathologic examination revealed mesoarteritis characterized by moth-eaten-appearing destruction of the medial elastic laminae, with T lymphocyte infiltration around the vasa vasorum and severe intimal thickening. The EBV DNA genome was detected in the diseased aortic tissue by polymerase chain reaction, and in the infiltrating lymphocytes by in situ hybridization. The clinical symptoms and histopathologic manifestations of the arterial lesions in this patient were obviously different from those of Kawasaki disease and Takayasu arteritis, and the arteritis was considered to be associated with the EBV infection.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arteries / pathology
  • Arteritis / pathology
  • Arteritis / virology*
  • Child
  • Elastic Tissue / pathology
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Female
  • Herpesviridae Infections*
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human*
  • Humans
  • Tumor Virus Infections*
  • Tunica Media / pathology