Journal Article

Utility of Semiquantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction for Epstein-Barr Virus to Measure Virus Load in Pediatric Organ Transplant Recipients with and without Posttransplant Lymphoproliferative Disease

Upton Allen, Diane Hebert, Martin Petric, Raymond Tellier, Dat Tran, Riccardo Superina, Derek Stephens, Lori West, Samia Wasfy and Susan Nelson

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 33, issue 2, pages 145-150
Published in print July 2001 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online July 2001 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/321806
Utility of Semiquantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction for Epstein-Barr Virus to Measure Virus Load in Pediatric Organ Transplant Recipients with and without Posttransplant Lymphoproliferative Disease

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We examined the utility of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) load as a test for the presence of posttransplant lymphoproliferative disease (PTLD). A semiquantitative (SQ) EBV polymerase chain reaction (PCR) on peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) was used to determine virus load. We compared the values from pediatric patients, both with and without PTLD, with those from healthy pediatric and adult subjects. The virus loads for asymptomatic healthy subjects had a range of 0–1 log10 cells/106 PBMCs. Among transplant recipients (n = 135), the mean virus load (± standard deviation) at the time of diagnosis of PTLD was 3.1 ± 1.2 log10 cells/106 PBMCs versus a baseline value of 1.3 ± 1.4 log10 cells/106 PBMCs in children without PTLD (P < .0001). A cutoff of ⩾3 log10 cells/106 peripheral blood leukocytes resulted in the following values for use of virus load as a test for PTLD: sensitivity, 69%; specificity, 76%; positive predictive value, 28%; and negative predictive value, 95%. We conclude that determination of EBV load by use of SQ PCR is more useful in ruling out than in indicating the presence of PTLD.

Journal Article.  3839 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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