Epstein-Barr virus: Silent companion or causative agent of chronic liver disease?

06:00 EDT 1st September 2010 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Epstein-Barr virus: Silent companion or causative agent of chronic liver disease?"

The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) has an important and multifaceted role in liver pathology. As a member of the herpes virus family, EBV establishes a persistent infection in more than 90% of adults. Besides acute hepatitis during primary infection, many clinical syndromes of interest for the hepatologist are associated with EBV infection. The role of EBV in the evolution of chronic hepatitis from hepatotropic viruses is considered. Chronic EBV-associated hepatitis is suspected in immunocompetent adults with compatible serology, suggestive histology and detection of the viral genome in the liver and/or increase of specific circulating cytotoxic T-lymphocytes. EBV is the main cause of post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorders which occur in up to 30% of cases. EBV-driven lymphoproliferative diseases are also recognized in non-immunocompromised patients and liver is involved in up to a third of the cases. Directly implicated in the pathogenesis of different tumors, EBV has a disputable role in hepatocellular carcinoma carcinogenesis. Further research is required in order to establish or reject the role of EBV in human liver cancer. This paper attempts to discuss the range of EBV-associated chronic liver diseases in immunocompetent patients, from mild, self-limiting mononuclear hepatitis to liver cancer.


Clinic of Gastroenterology, Ministry of Interior, MI, 79, "Skobelev" Blvd, Sofia 1606, Bulgaria.

Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: World journal of gastroenterology : WJG
ISSN: 1007-9327
Pages: 4130-4


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