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Blood. 2011 May 5;117(18):4726-35. doi: 10.1182/blood-2010-12-323238. Epub 2011 Mar 8.

Age-related EBV-associated lymphoproliferative disorders in the Western population: a spectrum of reactive lymphoid hyperplasia and lymphoma.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, UK.


We investigated age-related EBV(+) B-cell lymphoproliferations in the Western population. The clinical features, histology, immunophenotype, EBV-encoded RNA in situ hybridization, and clonality by PCR of T-cell receptor gamma and immunoglobulin genes were categorized in 122 EBV(+) lesions as follows: (1) reactive lymphoid hyperplasia; (2) polymorphic extranodal or (3) polymorphic nodal lymphoproliferative disease (LPD); and (4) diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). Interphase FISH for IG and PAX5 gene rearrangements was performed on 17 cases of DLBCL. The overall median age was 75 years (range, 45-101 years; 67 men, 55 women), and 67, 79, 73, and 77 years, respectively, for groups 1 through 4. Sixteen of 21 cases of polymorphic extranodal LPD were classified as EBV(+) mucocutaneous ulcer. PCR for immunoglobulin genes was polyclonal in reactive lymphoid hyperplasia (84%) and monoclonal in 33%, 63%, and 56% of polymorphic extranodal and nodal LPD cases and DLBCL, respectively. All groups showed restricted/clonal T-cell receptor responses (27%-70%). By FISH, 19% of DLBCLs showed IGH@ rearrangements, but PAX5 was unaffected. Disease-specific 5-year survival was 100%, 93%, 57%, and 25% for groups 1-4, respectively, and 100% for patients with EBV(+) mucocutaneous ulcer. Disease volume was predictive of therapy response (P = .0002), and pathologic subtype was predictive of overall outcome (P = .001). Age-related EBV(+) B-cell LPD encompasses a wider disease spectrum than previously recognized and includes both reactive and neoplastic conditions. Reduction in the T-cell repertoire may contribute to decreased immune surveillance.

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