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  • Author: Bruno Lioure x
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In patients with acute leukemia, lymphoma and chronic malignancies, donor and/or recipient Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) seropositive status increases the risk of development of chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD) after allo-hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT), while it has no influence on other transplant outcomes. No data are available on the impact of EBV serostatus on transplant outcomes in patients with nonmalignant hematological disorders.


We analyzed the influence of the recipient's (R) and donor's (D) EBV serostatus on transplant outcomes (overall survival (OS); relapse-free survival (RFS); relapse incidence (RI); nonrelapse mortality (NRM); acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD); cGVHD) in patients with nonmalignant hematological disorders undergoing allo-HCT.

Patients and Methods

A total of 2,355 allo-HCTs performed between 1997 and 2016 for acquired bone marrow failure or hemoglobinopathies were included in this retrospective Registry megafile Infectious Diseases Working Party of the European Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation (IDWP-EBMT) study.


Demographics: The median age of recipient was 17.7 years (range: 0–77), and 50.8% were children. 79.0% of recipients and 75.4% of donors were EBV-seropositive. 67.8% had HCT from a matched family donor, 4.6% from a mismatched family donor, and 27.6% from an unrelated donor (UD). T-cell depletion was performed in vivo and ex vivo in 82.2% and 6.6% of patients, respectively. Conditioning regimen was myeloablative in 63.7% and reduced intensity conditioning (RIC) in 36.3% of patients. The median follow-up was 4.7 years. Transplant outcomes: EBV-seropositive recipients in comparison with EBV-seronegative recipients had lower OS (85.4% vs. 88.4%, p = 0.035) and higher NRM (10.0% vs. 6.4%, p = 0.018). No other significant differences were found for: RI, RFS, and aGVHD or cGVHD with respect to EBV pretransplant serostatus donor and/or recipient. Multivariate analysis: A trend toward higher risk of development of cGVHD (HR = 1.31; p = 0.081) and better survival (HR = 0.78; p = 0.087) in allo-HCT from EBV-seropositive donors was found. Allo-HCT in EBV-seropositive recipients had a trend toward lower risk of development of cGVHD (HR = 0.75; p = 0.065). When four subgroups (R−/D−, R−/D+, R+/D−, R+/D+ EBV serology) were analyzed, the EBV serostatus had no significant impact on OS, RFS, RI, NRM and development of aGVHD or cGVHD.


Allo-HCT from EBV-seropositive versus EBV-seronegative donors are at 31% higher risk of cGVHD in patients with nonmalignant hematological disorders undergoing allo-HCT; however this difference is nonsignificant in multivariate analysis.