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Am J Clin Pathol. 1997 May;107(5):592-600.

The spectrum of mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lesions in pediatric patients infected with HIV: A clinicopathologic study of six cases.

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  • 1Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, East Carolina University School of Medicine, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.


Mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lesions in nonimmunocompromised individuals include reactive lymphoid proliferations and both low- and high-grade lymphoid neoplasms. These lesions occur at extranodal mucosal sites, such as the gastrointestinal tract, bronchus, salivary gland, and other locations. The spectrum of MALT lesions in children with HIV infection had not been previously described. In this study, six cases that demonstrated the spectrum of MALT lesions in pediatric patients, aged 28 months to 23 years, who had HIV infection were described. Half the patients acquired the infection perinatally, and half acquired it by transfusion. Mucosal sites of involvement included the salivary gland (4 patients), bronchiolar mucosa (2 patients), and oropharyngeal mucosa (1 patient). One patient had lesions in lung and oropharynx sequentially; all others had involvement of solitary sites. The histologic diagnoses included myoepithelial sialadenitis (MESA), MESA with low-grade MALT lymphoma, typical low-grade MALT lymphoma, diffuse large cell lymphoma (DLCL), and atypical pulmonary lymphoid hyperplasia and lymphoid interstitial pneumonitis complex. The two cases of high-grade DLCL were confined to mucosal sites (tonsil and parotid); in one of these patients, a previous biopsy specimen showed a MALT lesion with low-grade features. In two cases, quantitation of the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) genome by the polymerase chain reaction showed a very high copy number in peripheral blood mononuclear cells but a low copy number in the MALT lesion, which suggested that MALT lesions may not be directly associated with EBV infection. Two patients who had high-grade tumors (DLCL) were successfully treated with chemotherapy and radiation therapy. The remaining patients, all of whom had low-grade MALT lesions, received either corticosteroids or alpha-interferon or no specific therapy; in all patients, the lesions followed an indolent clinical course. Clinicians and pathologists should be alert to the possibility that MALT lesions, including MALT lymphomas, may be present in children who have AIDS.

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