This study aimed to assess the outcome of cardiovascular diseases for patients with chronic active Epstein-Barr virus infection (CAEBV). The study enrolled 15 patients (7 boys and 8 girls) who fulfilled the diagnostic criteria for CAEBV, including 10 patients with T-cell type and 3 patients with natural killer (NK)-cell type. The median age at the CAEBV onset was 6.3 years (range, 1.2-17.8 years). Regular cardiologic studies were performed during the median follow-up period of 8 years (range, 2-20 years). Nine patients (60%) had cardiac diseases including coronary artery lesion (CAL) (n = 4, 44%), decreased left ventricular ejection fraction and pericardial effusion in (n = 3, 33%), complete atrioventricular block (n = 1), and sudden arrest (n = 1). The frequency of fever (78%, p = 0.04) or cytopenias (100%, p = 0.01), as the major symptom among patients with cardiac complications, was higher than among those without complications. The median time from disease onset to detection of CAL was 3.4 years (range, 1.8-8.6 years). The mean z-score increased to 3.98. Seven patients (78%) with cardiac complications died of disease progression, hematopoietic stem cell transplantation-related events, or both. In two patients, CAL regressed after allogeneic cord blood transplantation. Among CAEBV patients, CAL was the most common cardiac complication and could not be controlled without the eradication of EBV-infected T- and NK-cells.
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