Epstein‐barr virus, fatal infectious mononucleosis, and Hodgkin's disease in siblings

Robert W. Veltri, Shiela H. Shah, James E. McClung, William G. Klingberg, Philip M. Sprinkle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Epstein‐Barr virus (EBV) infection in a family resulted in a fatal disseminated heterophil negative infectious mononucleosis syndrome in a nine‐year‐old girl. This was followed closely by a similar disease process in her six‐year‐old brother which evolved over a one‐year period into Stage IIIB Hodgkin's disease. Finally, three years after the index EBV case in the daughter, the mother was diagnosed with a non‐Burkitt's‐type undifferentiated lymphoma that proved rapidly fatal. The EBV involvement in the sister and brother was well documented serologically and virologically. The pathologic diagnosis was established and confirmed by more than one pathologist. There was no obvious evidence for either a specific or general immune defect in any of the family members tested. The progression of the six‐year‐old boy's EBV infection from a benign, yet disseminated disease process into a histopathologically confirmed case of Hodgkin's disease offers a strong suggestion that this virus was not behaving solely as a passenger. Especially relevant is the fact that the boy never fully recovered from his EBV infection and essentially became persistently infected with the virus as evidenced by his EBV‐EA serology and virology results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)509-520
Number of pages12
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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