Characterization of immunologic and virological parameters in HIV-infected patients with primary effusion lymphoma during antiblastic therapy and highly active antiretroviral therapy

Cecilia Simonelli, Rosamaria Tedeschi, Annunziata Gloghini, Maria Teresa Bortolin, Michele Spina, Ettore Bidoli, Roberta Cinelli, Paolo De Paoli, Antonino Carbone, Umberto Tirelli

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Background. Primary effusion lymphoma (PEL) represents a peculiar lymphoma infected with human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) and occurs predominantly in human immunodeficiency virus (HlV)-infected patients. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the immunologic and virological parameters, including HHV-8 viremia, of 5 HIV-infected patients with PEL whose disease was diagnosed and treated at our institute. Methods. Five patients were enrolled in the study. Biological parameters, such as latent and lytic HHV-8 antigen levels, plasma HHV-8 load, Epstein-Barr virus plasma DNA load, HIV-1 load, and CD4 cell count, were assessed before treatment, during therapy, and at follow-up. Results. Four patients were treated with chemotherapy and highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), and 1 was treated with HAART alone; 3 of 5 patients reached complete remission. HHV-8 could be detected before the initiation of therapy in plasma from all patients analyzed. HHV-8 levels decreased after therapy in 4 patients. During the whole observation period, plasma HHV-8 load showed a statistically significant inverse correlation with CD4 cell count but no significant correlation with HIV load and response to therapy. Conclusions. Our analysis demonstrates that HHV-8 can be detected in the plasma at the onset of PEL; its prognostic role needs to be explored. CD4 cell count seems to be the most important indicator of progression of PEL.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1022-1027
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2005


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

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