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Epstein Barr virus (EBV) positive mucocutaneous ulcers (EBVMCU) form part of a spectrum of EBV-associated lymphoproliferative disease. They have been reported in the setting of immunosenescence and iatrogenic immunosuppression, affecting the oropharyngeal mucosa, skin and gastrointestinal tract (GIT). Case reports and series to date suggest a benign natural history responding to conservative management, particularly in the GIT. We report an unusual case of EBVMCU in the colon, arising in the setting of immunosuppression in the treatment of Crohn's disease, with progression to Hodgkin lymphoma 18 mo after cessation of infliximab. The patient presented with multiple areas of segmental colonic ulceration, histologically showing a polymorphous infiltrate with EBV positive Reed-Sternberg-like cells. A diagnosis of EBVMCU was made. The ulcers failed to regress upon cessation of infliximab and methotrexate for 18 mo. Following commencement of prednisolone for her Crohn's disease, the patient developed widespread Hodgkin lymphoma which ultimately presented as a life-threatening lower GIT bleed requiring emergency colectomy. This is the first report of progression of EBVMCU to Hodgkin lymphoma, in the setting of ongoing iatrogenic immunosuppression and inflammatory bowel disease.


Neil R Moran, Bradley Webster, Kenneth M Lee, Judith Trotman, Yiu-Lam Kwan, John Napoli, Rupert W Leong. Epstein Barr virus-positive mucocutaneous ulcer of the colon associated Hodgkin lymphoma in Crohn's disease. World journal of gastroenterology. 2015 May 21;21(19):6072-6

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PMID: 26019475

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