To determine the effectiveness of diagnosing forms of lymphoproliferative disease by performing tonsillectomy in pediatric patients who develop symptomatic or asymptomatic tonsillar hypertrophy during immunosuppressive therapy after liver transplantation.
Retrospective chart and pathological review.
Urban tertiary referral children's hospital.
Main Outcome Measures
The presence of a pathological stage of lymphoproliferative disease or Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) diagnosed using tonsillar specimens, resulting in a change in therapy.
Of 275 pediatric patients who underwent liver transplantation, 13 had tonsillectomy performed with histopathological review of the tonsillar specimens. The specimens from 5 patients (39%) demonstrated pathological changes thought to be consistent with EBV-related changes or a form of lymphoproliferative disease. Histological changes ranged from tonsillar hyperplasia associated with EBV infection to large cell lymphoma. Immunosuppressive therapy was reduced or discontinued, and antiviral therapy was initiated.
Children who have undergone liver transplantation and develop tonsillar hypertrophy should undergo a diagnostic tonsillectomy, regardless of the clinical presentation, to rule out a form of posttransplant lymphoproliferative disease.