Background. Lymphoproliferative disease is a common and serious complication of organ transplantation. It is well documented that the risk of its development increases with the level of immunosuppression. Less is known about its incidence, prevalence, timing, and prognosis. Methods. The authors conducted a retrospective review of all patients with lymphoproliferative disease after renal transplantation documented in the Australia and New Zealand Dialysis and Transplant Registry from 1970 to March 2003. Results. One hundred ninety-seven cases of lymphoproliferative disease occurred in 15,930 allografts in 13,516 recipients. There has been a steady increase in its incidence and prevalence each decade since 1970. Cases cluster into an early group (<2 years after transplantation) and a late group (5-10 years after transplantation). Risk factors include exposure to a calcineurin inhibitor, but there was no increased risk in those treated with anti-T-lymphocyte antibodies. Patient survival was poor: 51% at 1 year and 39% at 5 years. Conclusions. Lymphoproliferative disease is an increasingly common problem after renal transplantation, and the outcome is poor. Measures to reduce its incidence might include reduction of long-term immunosuppression exposure. Established disease has a high short-term mortality, and new treatment options, such as anti-B-lymphocyte monoclonal antibodies, should be aggressively pursued.
- Australia and New Zealand Dialysis and Transplant Registry Registry
- Posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorder
- Renal transplantation
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