If your doctor suspects PTLD, the first step is to do a physical exam and testing, which usually includes blood and radiology tests.
- Check for Epstein-Barr virus infection in the blood.
- A CT scan checks for PTLD in the neck, chest or belly.
If you have belly complaints, you may have an endoscopy or colonoscopy performed.
Other tests may help find out the extent of the disease and to see if it has spread through the lymph system to other parts of the body.
- Radioisotope scanning (PET scan) is useful to see if PTLD has spread to your liver, bones, bone marrow or spleen.
- You may need to have a bone marrow aspirate (taking out some fluid to test it) and biopsy (taking out some tissue to test it) if there is concern that the PTLD has spread to the bone marrow.
- Your doctor may perform a biopsy if they find a mass or enlarged lymph node. They remove the tissue and look at it under the microscope. They examine thin slices of the tissue for the presence, type, and arrangement of pre-cancer or cancer cells characteristic of the disease.