Introduction: HIV-infected patients are more than 100-fold greater at risk for developing malignant AIDS-related lymphoma (ARL) compared to the general population. Most ARLs are EBV related. The main purpose of this study was to investigate whether a high peak EBV DNA load in HIV-infected patients is predictive of ARL, including classical Hodgkin lymphoma. Methods: From an ongoing prospective HIV positive cohort study, we conducted a case-control study between 2004 and 2016 among patients from whom at least one EBV DNA load in serum or plasma was available. We compared peak EBV DNA load between patients with (49 cases) and without ARL (156 controls). Results: The geometric mean of the peak EBV DNA load measured before diagnosis of malignant lymphoma was 52,565 IU/mL in EBER-positive lymphoma patients vs. 127 IU/mL in controls (p <.001). Patients with EBV DNA loads >100,000 IU/mL have an increased risk for diagnosis of malignant lymphoma compared to patients with EBV DNA loads ≤100,000 IU/mL (adjusted OR 12.53; 95%CI: 4.08; 38.42). In the longitudinal study, including 13 patients with at least three left-over plasma samples available for retesting, measurements of EBV-DNA during the preceding 12 months proved to be of poor value for predicting subsequent lymphoma diagnosis. Conclusions: A EBV DNA load >100,000 IU/mL can be useful in clinical setting to accelerate time to diagnosis and treatment. EBV-DNA loads in samples taken during the preceding year of ARL diagnosis showed to be of poor predictive value.

Epstein-Barr virus, HIV, Malignant lymphoma,
Infectious Diseases
Department of Internal Medicine

Hijlkema, S.H. (S. H.), van Kampen, J.J.A, Voermans, J, den Oudsten, M.Y.E. (M. Y.E.), Doorduijn, J.K, van Lugtenburg, P.J. (P. J.), … Eskesen, Arne. (2018). A longitudinal and cross-sectional study of Epstein-Barr virus DNA load: a possible predictor of AIDS-related lymphoma in HIV-infected patients. Infectious Diseases. doi:10.1080/23744235.2018.1508884