Changes in tonsils and adenoids in children with posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorder: Report of three cases with early involvement of waldeyer's ring


Posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD) is an infrequent complication of transplantation in children, and this report emphasizes the value of tonsil and adenoid biopsy in the early management of this potentially life threatening condition. In all three cases biopsy specimens of tonsils and adenoids were diagnostic of polymorphic diffuse B-cell hyperplasia (PBCH). Immunophenotyping showed no immunoglobulin (Ig) light chain restriction, although immunoglobulin heavy chain (IgH) gene rearrangement was monoclonal in two cases. Despite an absence of serological evidence for acute Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection, EBV was detected in all cases by semiquantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for EBV DNA, by in situ hybridization for EBV mRNA (EBER), and by immunoperoxidase for EBV latent membrane protein (LMP). All three patients were treated with reduced inununosuppression and acyclovir and are well (19, 28, and 28 months' follow-up) with no recurrence. Children without previous EBV exposure may develop PTLD localized to the tonsils/adenoids, and biopsy specimens of these tissues may permit early diagnosis and clinical intervention. Despite monoclonal gene rearrangement in two cases, overall features were not indicative of malignancy. Strong association with EBV is helpful in confirming the diagnosis of PTLD and is consistent with initial presentation in the tonsils/adenoids. © 1995.

Publication Title

Human Pathology