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Clin Diagn Lab Immunol. 2001 Sep;8(5):993-6.

Anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody treatment of human herpesvirus 8-associated, body cavity-based lymphoma with an unusual phenotype in a human immunodeficiency virus-negative patient.

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  • 1Departamento Virología, Instituto Nacional de Enfermedades Infecciosas-ANLIS Dr. Carlos G. Malbrán, Av. Vélez Sásrsfield 563 (1281), Buenos Aires, Argentina. Cperez@anlis.gov.ar


Human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8), or Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus, is a gammaherpesvirus first detected in Kaposi's sarcoma tumor cells and subsequently in primary effusion lymphoma (PEL) tumor cells and peripheral blood mononuclear cells from PEL patients. PEL has been recognized as an individual nosologic entity based on its distinctive features and consistent association with HHV-8 infection. PEL is an unusual form of body cavity-based B-cell lymphoma (BCBL). It occurs predominantly in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive patients but occasionally also in elderly HIV-negative patients. We describe a case of PEL, with ascites, bilateral pleural effusions, and a small axillary lymphadenopathy, in a 72-year-old HIV-negative man. PCR performed on a lymph node specimen and in liquid effusion was positive for HHV-8 and negative for Epstein-Barr virus. The immunophenotype of the neoplastic cells was B CD19+ CD20+ CD22+ with coexpression of CD10 and CD23 and with clonal kappa light chain rearrangement. The patient was treated with Rituximab, a chimeric (human-mouse) anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody. Thirteen months later, the patient continued in clinical remission. This is the first report of an HHV-8-associated BCBL in an HIV-negative patient in Argentina.

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