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July 1997

Epstein-Barr Virus-Associated Lymphoproliferative Disease During Methotrexate Therapy for Psoriasis

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Dermatology (Drs Paul, Robert, and Dubertret) and the Laboratory of Molecular Hematology and INSERM U 462 (Dr Cayuela), Hôpital Saint Louis, Paris, France; Department of Pathology, Hôtel Dieu, Paris (Drs Le Tourneau and Molinie); and Department of Hematology, Hôpital Gilles de Corbeil, Corbeil-Essonnes, France (Dr Devidas).

Arch Dermatol. 1997;133(7):867-871. doi:10.1001/archderm.1997.03890430083011

Background:  Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-associated lymphoproliferative disorders have recently been observed during treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and dermatomyositis with low-dose methotrexate.

Observation:  A patient with psoriasis developed a B-cell lymphoproliferative disorder during long-term treatment with low-dose methotrexate. The lymphoid cells expressed EBV latent membrane protein 1, and the EBV viral genome was present as demonstrated by in situ hybridization. Evaluation for EBV clonality showed that the lymph node contained clonal EBV DNA. Polymerase chain reaction studies confirmed that the B-cell lymphoproliferative disorder was mainly monoclonal, suggesting that the disorder arose from a single EBV-infected B-cell clone.

Conclusions:  Lymphoproliferative disorders associated with Epstein-Barr virus in which the clinicopathological presentation is similar to those occurring in patients after transplantation may be observed in patients with psoriasis treated with methotrexate. While it is impossible to rule out a fortuitous occurrence of an EBV-associated lymphoproliferative disorder and psoriasis treated with methotrexate in the same patient, EBV appears to be critical in the pathogenesis of the lymphoproliferative disorder in this patient.Arch Dermatol. 1997;133:867-871