Spectrum of Epstein-Barr virus-related diseases: a pictorial review
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- Maeda, E., Akahane, M., Kiryu, S. et al. Jap J Radiol (2009) 27: 4. doi:10.1007/s11604-008-0291-2
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Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) prevails among more than 90% of the adult population worldwide. Most primary infections occur during young childhood and cause no or only nonspecific symptoms; then the virus becomes latent and resides in lymphocytes in the peripheral blood. Inactive latent EBV usually causes no serious consequences, but once it becomes active it can cause a wide spectrum of malignancies: epithelial tumors such as nasopharyngeal and gastric carcinomas; mesenchymal tumors such as follicular dendritic cell tumor/sarcoma; and lymphoid malignancies such as Burkitt lymphoma, lymphomatoid granulomatosis, pyothorax-associated lymphoma, immunodeficiency-associated lymphoproliferative disorders, extranodal natural killer (NK) cell/T-cell lymphoma, and Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The purpose of this article is to describe the spectrum of EBV-related diseases and their key imaging findings. EBV-related lymphoproliferative disorders and lymphomas are especially common in immunocompromised patients. Awareness of their clinical settings and imaging spectrum contributes to early detection and early treatment of possibly life-threatening disorders.