Clinical characteristics of post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorders

Vicki A Morrison, David L. Dunn, J. Carlos Manivel, K. J. Gajl-Peczalska, Bruce A Peterson

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218 Scopus citations


purpose: To study the histopathologic findings, clinical course, and therapeutic outcome of patients who developed a lymphoproliferative disorder after undergoing solid organ transplantation. patients and methods: A series of 26 patients who developed a lymphoproliferative disorder after solid organ transplant during a 27-year period were studied. results: The 26 patients ranged in age from 6 to 68 years (median 42 years). The lymphoproliferative disorder was diagnosed from 1 to 211 months (median 80 months) after transplantation. The type of transplant was kidney (n = 21), heart or heart-lung (n = 4), or liver (n = 1). Most patients received azathioprine and prednisone, in addition to antilymphocyte globulin or cyclosporine, for post-transplant immuno-suppression. Eight patients had lymphoma that could be classified according to the International Working Formulation (IWF-F, IWF-G, IWF-H). Sixteen patients had polymorphic lymphoma, and 2 patients were classified as having polymorphic lymphoid hyperplasia. Patients were staged by the Ann Arbor staging system. Nine patients had stage I disease, 4 stage II, 6 stage III, and 7 stage IV. Central nervous system, lung, or marrow involvement was present in 27%, 23%, and 14% of patients, respectively. In the 17 patients studied, immunophenotype was monoclonal B-cell (n = 12), malignant T-cell (n = 2), or polyclonal B-cell (n = 3). The initial therapeutic approach was generally a reduction in immunosuppression, but, thereafter, the approach to therapy varied. In patients with localized disease, surgical excision and/or involved field radiotherapy were utilized as applicable. For patients with more extensive disease, other approaches such as high-dose acyclovir, combination chemotherapy, or alpha interferon were utilized. Overall, 15 of 26 patients (58%) responded to systemic therapy or were rendered disease-free either by surgery or radiation, including 8 (31%) with a complete remission (CR). Only 3 of 9 patients responded to chemotherapy, whereas 4 of 13 patients responded to acyclovir (including 3 patients who experienced CR). Remission duration ranged from 8 to 122 months (median 32+ months). Twenty-one of 26 patients (81%) have died. Survival ranged from less than 1 to 122 months (median 14 months). conclusion: The outcome of patients with post-solid organ transplant lymphoproliferative disorders is poor, and the optimal approach to therapy is not clear. Newer therapeutic approaches are thus needed to improve the outcome of these patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14-24
Number of pages11
JournalThe American Journal of Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1994

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