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Blood. 2009 Mar 19;113(12):2629-36. doi: 10.1182/blood-2008-06-164806. Epub 2008 Dec 15.

Age-related Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-associated B-cell lymphoproliferative disorders: comparison with EBV-positive classic Hodgkin lymphoma in elderly patients.

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  • 1Department of Hematology, Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, Nagoya, Japan.


Age-related Epstein-Barr virus-associated B-cell lymphoproliferative disorder (aEBVLPD) is a disease group characterized by EBV-associated large B-cell lymphoma in elderly without predisposing immunodeficiency. In nearly one- third of cases, aEBVLPD occurs as a polymorphous subtype with reactive cell-rich components, bearing a morphologic similarity to classic Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL). The aim of this study was to clarify clinicopathologic differences between the polymorphic subtype of aEBVLPD (n = 34) and EBV(+) cHL (n = 108) in patients aged 50 years or older. Results showed that aEBVLPD was more closely associated with aggressive clinical parameters than cHL, with a higher age at onset (71 vs 63 years); lower male predominance (male-female ratio, 1.4 vs 3.3); and a higher rate of involvement of the skin (18% vs 2%), gastrointestinal tract (15% vs 4%), and lung (12% vs 2%). aEBVLPD was histopathologically characterized by a higher ratio of geographic necrosis, greater increase (> 30%) in cytotoxic T cells among background lymphocytes, higher positivity for CD20 and EBNA2, and absence of CD15 expression. As predicted by the clinical profile, aEBVLPD had a significantly poorer prognosis than EBV(+) cHL (P < .001). The polymorphous subtype of aEBVLPD constitutes an aggressive group with an immune response distinct from EBV(+) cHL, and requires the development of innovative therapeutic strategies.

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