While the overall incidence of post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease (PTLD) in pediatric liver transplant recipients has been reported to be 4-11%, the long-term risk of PTLD associated with primary tacrolimus therapy is unknown. Therefore, in order to determine the incidence and long-term risk of PTLD, the present study examined 131 pediatric recipients who underwent liver transplantation (LTx) between October 1989 and December 1991 and received primary tacrolimus therapy. This cohort of children was evaluated over an extended time-period (until December 31 1996) with a mean follow-up of 6.3 yr. Actuarial Kaplan-Meier analysis was utilized to determine the risk of PTLD over time. The overall incidence of PTLD was 13% (17/131) with an average age of 4.3±0.75 yr at diagnosis. Pretransplant Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) serologies were negative in 82%, positive in 12%, and not available in 6% of the patients. The median time to diagnosis of PTLD post-Tx was 11.9 months (mean 16.4±3.9, range 1.7-63.0 months). Mean tacrolimus dose and plasma trough level (as evaluated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay [ELISA]) at the time of diagnosis was 0.32±0.06 mg/kg/day and 1.3±0.3 ng/mL, respectively. The cumulative long-term risk of PTLD was found to increase over time: 3% at 6 months, 8% at 1 yr, 12% at 2 yr, 14% at 3 yr, and 15% at 4 and 5 yr. Mortality from PTLD was 12% (two of 17 patients). Primary tacrolimus use in pediatric LTx has a long-term risk of PTLD approaching 15%, with the majority of episodes (78%) occurring in the first 2 yr, suggesting that intense EBV surveillance should occur early post-transplantation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health