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Semin Hematol. 1999 Apr;36(2):128-38.

Nodal monocytoid B-cell lymphoma (nodal marginal-zone B-cell lymphoma).

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  • 1Department of Hematopathology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA.


Benign monocytoid B cells are seen in lymph nodes in different types of lymphadenitis and they occur in the form of clusters within and around sinuses and in the interfollicular areas, but rarely completely surround benign follicles to produce a marginal-zone pattern. The cytologic hallmark of these cells is the presence of abundant pale to clear cytoplasm; these cells usually are of medium size, and they have a rather bland-appearing, irregular nuclei with inconspicuous nucleoli. Malignant monocytoid B-cell proliferations in a lymph node have been classified as monocytoid B-cell lymphomas (MBCL), which are now called nodal marginal-zone B-cell lymphoma (MZL) in the World Health Organization (WHO) classification. In the recently published clinical evaluation of the International Lymphoma Study Group classification of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, 25 of 1,378 cases (1.8%) were classified as primary MZL, whereas four times as many cases (105 or 7.6%) were classified as low-grade mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT)-type lymphoma. Transformation to large-cell lymphoma at the time of diagnosis was seen in five of 25 (20%) cases of nodal MZL and in 32 of 105 (30%) cases of MALT-type lymphoma. Comparison of the clinical findings at presentation and the survival results indicate that nodal MZL is more aggressive clinically than low-grade MALT-type lymphoma. For example, patients with nodal MZL had a significantly higher incidence of advanced-stage disease, including peripheral and paraaortic lymphadenopathy, than those with MALT-type lymphoma. Moreover, patients with nodal MZL had lower 5-year overall survival and failure-free survival than patients with MALT type lymphoma. When analysis was restricted to those patients with zero to three adverse risk factors in the International Prognostic Index, patients with nodal MZL still had a significantly lower overall and failure-free survival at 5 years than patients with MALT-type lymphoma. We conclude that nodal MZL is a distinctive disease entity and is similar to other low-grade nodal lymphomas, such as the follicular or small lymphocytic lymphomas, but different than MALT-type lymphoma.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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