Posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorder after umbilical cord blood transplantation in children

Jerald Z. Gong, Michael Bayerl, Linda M. Sandhaus, Siby Sebastian, Catherine W. Rehder, Mark Routbort, Anand S. Lagoo, Paul Szabolcs, Jeanie Chiu, Melanie Comito, Patrick J. Buckley

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22 Scopus citations


Reported are 7 cases of posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD) arising in children who received umbilical cord blood transplantation (UCBT). There were 4 females and 3 males with a median age of 3 years (range, 1-16 years). All 7 patients received UCBT, including 1 patient who received multiple units and 1 transplanted under nonmyeloablative condition. The time interval from UCBT to PTLD averaged 4 months (range, 2 weeks to 9 months). Patients typically presented with high-stage disease with visceral organ involvement. Histology of the PTLDs showed monomorphic morphology in 5 cases and polymorphic morphology in the remaining 2 cases. Bone marrow biopsies were performed in 3 cases and were negative for PTLD. Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) was detected in the PTLD in all 7 patients by in situ hybridization. Evidence of past EBV infection was found in the recipients, but the EBV genome was not detected in the donor cord blood samples, suggesting that donor cord blood was not the source of EBV infection. The origin of the PTLD was investigated in 5 cases. PTLD was of host origin in 2 patients who failed engraftment and of donor origin in the remaining 3 patients who had complete engraftment. Four of 5 patients with monomorphic PTLD failed to demonstrate significant responses to rituximab and/or reduction of immunosuppression and died within 1 month after diagnosis. The remaining 2 patients with polymorphic PTLD showed complete response to therapy. One patient was alive 35 months after transplant, and the other patient died of infection 6 months after transplant. It is concluded that PTLD arising after UCBT in children occurs early after transplant and represents a serious EBV-related complication. PTLD may be of donor or recipient origin depending on engraftment status. Both monomorphic and polymorphic histology may be seen, and monomorphic histology appears to predict an unfavorable prognosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)328-336
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgical Pathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anatomy
  • Surgery
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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