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UPMC Pediatric Transplant Experts Collaborate to Study EBV in Abdominal and Thoracic Transplant Recipients

September 18, 2023

A multidisciplinary team of physician-scientists from UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh collaborated on a study of chronic Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) to help improve risk stratification and clinical management of liver, kidney, and heart transplant recipients affected by the virus.

Authors of the analysis, “Distinct association between chronic Epstein-Barr virus infection and T cell compartments from pediatric heart, kidney, and liver transplant recipients,” include George V. Mazariegos, MD, chief, Pediatric Transplantation; Marian G. Michaels, MD, co-director, Transplant Infectious Diseases; and Brian Feingold, MD, medical director, Heart Failure and Transplantation Programs at UPMC Children’s.

EBV infection is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in pediatric organ transplant recipients. The virus can lead to posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorders (PTLD) in both abdominal and thoracic pediatric transplant recipients, although the risk of late-onset PTLD is much higher for pediatric heart transplant recipients. This research team includes experts in liver transplantation, kidney transplantation, heart transplantation, and infectious diseases.

“UPMC experts from several specialties collaborated to assess T cell profiles in pediatric organ transplant recipients,” Dr. Mazariegos says. “We’re hoping that our findings will help the abdominal and thoracic pediatric transplant communities better understand the risk of late-onset PTLD in high viral load carriers of EBV.”

Read the full study.