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Hum Pathol. 2001 Dec;32(12):1382-7.

Inflammatory pseudotumor of lymph node and spleen: an entity biologically distinct from inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor.

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Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Inflammatory pseudotumors (IPTs) of the lymph node and spleen are an uncommon, benign cause of lymphadenopathy and/or splenomegaly that often bear striking clinicopathologic similarities to the inflammatory myofibroblastic tumors (IMTs) found in soft tissues. These tumors have classically been grouped together under the umbrella category of "inflammatory pseudotumor." Recent evidence shows that IMTs are in fact neoplastic processes that often harbor balanced chromosomal translocations involving the ALK kinase gene. These translocations result in expression of ALK kinase in IMTs as assessed by immunohistochemical studies. However, the relationship between IMT and IPT of the lymph node and spleen is uncertain. To determine if ALK tyrosine kinase expression is also present in IPT, 13 cases of IPT (9 involving lymph nodes, 4 splenic lesions) were examined for the presence of ALK tyrosine kinase by immunohistochemical staining on paraffin-embedded tissue. In addition, in situ hybridization studies for Epstein-Barr virus--encoded RNAs (EBER) and immunoperoxidase studies for human herpesvirus-8 (HHV8)--specific proteins were performed. All cases had clinical, morphologic, and immunophenotypic findings typical of IPT and had varying proportions of fibroblastic and inflammatory components. Age ranged from 11 to 75 (median, 40) years; 8 subjects were male, and 5 were female. None of the cases (0 of 13) had positive staining for ALK kinase or HHV8, and in 1 a lymph node (1 of 13) was focally positive for EBV (EBER) by in situ hybridization. The absence of ALK kinase as detected by immunohistochemical studies in IPT of the lymph node and spleen suggests that this entity is biologically distinct from the histologically similar IMT.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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