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Posttransplant lymphoproliferative disease in liver transplant patients.

Posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorders (PTLD) are a life-threatening complication following solid organ transplantation. Many posttransplant lymphomas develop from the uncontrolled proliferation of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-infected B-cells, whereas EBV-negative PTLDs were increasingly recognized within the past decade. Major risk factors for the development of PTLDs after liver transplantation are immunosuppressive therapy and the type of underlying disease: viral hepatitis, autoimmune liver disease, or alcoholic liver cirrhosis contribute to an increased risk for PTLD. Therapeutic regimens include reduction of immunosuppression, the anti-CD20 antibody rituximab, and chemotherapy, as well as new approaches using interferon-α and anti-interleukin-6 antibodies. Despite the different therapeutic regimens, mortality from PTLD remains high. Therefore, it is of major importance to identify patients at risk at an early stage of the disease. In this review, risk factors for PTLD development after liver transplantation, clinical presentation, diagnosis, and therapy are discussed.

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