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Am J Surg Pathol. 2010 Nov;34(11):1715-9. doi: 10.1097/PAS.0b013e3181eded23.

Anorectal Epstein-Barr virus infection mimicking Hodgkin lymphoma in an immunocompetent man.

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  • 1Departments of Pathology, Necker-Enfants Malades Hospital and Paris-Descartes University, Paris, France.


Anorectal Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) is rare, mainly described in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) patients with exceptional cases reported in immunocompetents. We report the case of a middle age HIV male, presenting with intestinal occlusion. Rectosigmoidoscopy showed multiple anorectal nodular and ulceronecrotic masses. The biopsy specimens revealed a diffuse polymorphous inflammatory infiltrate in the lamina propria, associated with CD30, CD20, CD3, CD15, and ALK1 scattered large Hodgkin and/or Reed Sternberg -like cells stained by LMP1 antibody and EBER. A diagnosis of EBV-associated atypical lymphoproliferative disease mimicking HL was made. These lesions remained stable for 2 years without treatment then disappeared leaving a mucosal scar. A later control biopsy showed a condylomatous lesion, without lymphoid lesion, suggesting a sexually acquired infection. Eight years later, the complete resolution of the lesion without any treatment is a strong argument against a malignant lymphoid process and raises doubts as to the reality of isolated anorectal HL in immunocompetent participants.

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