The impact of chronic Epstein–Barr virus infection on the liver graft of pediatric liver transplant recipients: A retrospective observational study

Masato Shizuku, Hideya Kamei, Atsushi Yoshizawa, Yoshinori Ito, Yasuhiro Ogura, Junichi Yoshikawa, Nobuhiko Kurata, Kanta Jobara, Yasuhiro Kodera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Chronic high Epstein–Barr virus loads (CHEBV) are commonly observed in pediatric liver transplant patients. However, it is unclear how CHEBV impacts the liver graft. The aim of this study was to clarify the clinical and pathological impacts of CHEBV on the liver graft. Methods: From 2012 to 2020, we retrospectively investigated 46 pediatric liver transplant patients (under 16 years) who survived ≥6 months. The patients were divided into two groups: CHEBV group (EBV DNA >10 000 IU/ml of whole blood for ≥6 months) and nonchronic high EBV (NCHEBV) group (patients who did not meet CHEBV criteria). Tacrolimus was reduced to <3.0 ng/ml in patients with EBV DNA >5000 IU/ml. Blood biochemistry data and pathological findings, obtained at the time of protocol and episodic biopsies, were compared between the two groups. Results: Out of 46 patients, 28 CHEBV and 18 NCHEBV patients were enrolled. The blood biochemical examination did not show a significant difference between the two groups. In addition, no significant differences between the two groups were found in the pathological findings, including frequency of late acute rejection and the progression of fibrosis at the time of both protocol and episodic biopsies. Appropriate adjustment of immunosuppression for CHEBV management may have contributed to the prevention of the progression of fibrosis. Conclusion: CHEBV had little adverse effect on the liver graft. Graft fibrosis might have been avoided through optimal dose modification of tacrolimus. Further long-term monitoring is necessary because CHEBV may affect the pediatric liver graft in the long term.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13731
JournalTransplant Infectious Disease
Volume23
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10-2021
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Transplantation

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