Transmission of anaplastic large cell lymphoma via organ donation after cardiac death

J. W. Harbell, Ty B Dunn, M. Fauda, D. G. John, A. S. Goldenberg, L. W. Teperman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Recently, donation after cardiac death (DCD) has been encouraged in order to expand the donor pool. We present a case of anaplastic T-cell lymphoma transmitted to four recipients of solid organ transplants from a DCD donor suspected of having bacterial meningitis. On brain biopsy, the donor was found to have anaplastic central nervous system T-cell lymphoma, and the recipient of the donor's pancreas, liver and kidneys were found to have involvement of T-cell lymphoma. The transplanted kidneys and pancreas were excised from the respective recipients, and the kidney and pancreas recipients responded well to chemotherapy. The liver recipient underwent three cycles of chemotherapy, but later died due to complications of severe tumor burden. We recommend transplanting organs from donors with suspected bacterial meningitis only after identification of the infectious organism. In cases of lymphoma transmission, excision of the graft may be the only chance at long-term survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)238-244
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Transplantation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008


  • Cardiac death donors
  • Donation after cardiac death
  • Liver transplantation
  • Non-heart-beating donors
  • Pancreas transplantation
  • Renal transplantation
  • T-cell lymphoma


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