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Sunday 01 June 2003

Pre-emptive therapy with rituximab for prevention of Epstein-Barr virus-associated lymphoproliferative disease after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

By: Gruhn B, Meerbach A, Hafer R, Zell R, Wutzler P, Zintl F.

Bone Marrow Transplant 2003 Jun;31(11):1023-5

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-associated lymphoproliferative disease (LPD) is a life-threatening complication following hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Therefore, early diagnosis of EBV reactivation and pre-emptive therapy may be clinically useful. We report three patients who presented with an extremely high EBV load in peripheral blood mononuclear cells and plasma without evidence of EBV disease. Following pre-emptive therapy with a single dose of rituximab, a concordant decrease of EBV-genome copies and B lymphocytes was observed. In all three patients, no EBV-associated LPD occurred. We conclude that pre-emptive therapy with rituximab appears to be effective for prevention of EBV-associated LPD after HSCT.

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