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Am J Surg Pathol. 2004 Mar;28(3):410-5.

Anaplastic large cell lymphoma associated with Epstein-Barr virus following cardiac transplant.

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  • 1Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Loma Linda University Medical Center, Loma Linda, CA 92354, USA.


Posttransplantation lymphoproliferative disorders (PTLDs) eventually occur in approximately 5% of all organ transplant recipients. Most of cases are B-cell proliferations associated with the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). T-cell PTLDs are relatively rare, although some estimate that up to 14% of posttransplantation malignant lymphomas are T-cell lymphomas even though only a few of these cases are described in the literature. A literature review found only 77 cases of T-cell PTLD, including 1 case following cardiac transplant, 15 cases associated with EBV, and only 1 case of anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL). This single ALCL case followed a liver transplant, was of the T-cell phenotype, and was EBV negative. In this report, we describe a 14-year-old male who developed an EBV-positive, T-cell PTLD of the ALCL subtype after a period of 14 years following cardiac transplant. Immunohistochemical staining established the T-cell origin of the neoplasm with strong expression of CD45, CD3, CD43, and CD2 and also showed expression of CD30 consistent with the histologic features that suggested ALCL. EBER in situ hybridization detected the presence of the EBV. Polymerase chain reaction analysis for T-cell receptor-gamma gene rearrangements confirmed the T-cell lineage of this lymphoma. To our knowledge, this is the first reported case of an EBV-positive T cell lymphoma of the anaplastic large cell subtype following organ transplant.

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