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Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Volume 29, Issue 8, Pages 417-422
Original Article

Post-Transplant Lymphoproliferative Disorder in Liver Transplant Recipients: Characteristics, Management and Outcome from a Single-Centre Experience with >1000 Liver Transplantations

Khalid Mumtaz,1 Nabiha Faisal,2 Max Marquez,2 Alicia Healey,2 Leslie B Lilly,2 and Eberhard L Renner2

1Wexner Medical Center, Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition Division, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA
2Liver Transplant Program/Multi-Organ Transplant Program, University Health Network, Toronto General Hospital, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Received 24 March 2014; Accepted 18 April 2015

Copyright © 2015 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


BACKGROUND: The literature regarding post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD) in liver transplant recipients (LTRs) is limited.

OBJECTIVES: To study the incidence, predictors and outcomes of PTLD after liver transplantation in a single, large-volume centre.

METHODS: The charts of all LTRs (n=1372) in the authors’ centre between January 2000 and June 2012 were retrospectively reviewed and those who developed PTLD were identified. Demographic, clinical and treatment data were prospectively collected. Responses to treatment, including complete response, no response, relapse and survival, were recorded.

RESULTS: The incidence of PTLD in LTRs was 32 in 1372 (2.3%). Overall, median survival was 37 months (range 0.5 to 195 months), with one-, three- and five-year survival rates of 81%, 74% and 60%, respectively. Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-negative patients had a better mean (± SD) survival (95±79 months) than EBV-positive patients (41±42 months) (P=0.02). For stage I/II PTLD, one-, three- and five-year actuarial survival was 87%, 87% and 75%, compared with 50%, 30% and 0% for stage III/IV PTLD, respectively (P=0.001). In patients with complete response, median survival was 58 months (range 10 to 195 months); and one-, three- and five-year actuarial survival was 100%, 94% and 76%, respectively, after diagnosis of PTLD. Changing immunosuppression (IS) from calcineurin inhibitor to sirolimus at the time of diagnosis may have improved survival (seven of seven survivors) compared with only decreasing or stopping IS (14 of 25 survivors) (P=0.07).

CONCLUSIONS: This series from a single large-volume centre showed excellent short and long-term survival after PTLD in adult LTRs who were EBV negative, had early disease and showed complete response. Consistent with the known in vitro antiproliferative effect of sirolimus, switching IS from calcineurin inhibitor to sirolimus may improve survival.