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Hum Pathol. 2002 Feb;33(2):153-7.

Lymphomas of the oral cavity: histology, immunologic type, and incidence of Epstein-Barr virus infection.

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  • 1Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19140, USA.


The purpose of this study was to determine the histologic class and immunologic phenotype of lymphomas presenting initially in the oral cavity and whether this correlated to a high incidence of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection as has been reported with lymphomas in the nasal cavity. Seventy-one cases of oral lymphomas from the oral pathology referral service were analyzed retrospectively. They were classified according to the Revised European American Lymphoma (REAL) classification system using routine immunohistochemistry. EBV infection was determined by detection of early viral RNA sequences (EBER) and latent membrane protein (LMP-1) expression. Only non-Hodgkin's lymphomas were observed, with a female predominance of 2:1. They were primarily of B-cell origin and histologically classified mainly as large B-cell type (68%); T-cell lymphomas were rare (8%). EBV infection was observed in 14% of the B-cell lymphomas, an incidence rate higher than that reported in studies of B-cell lymphomas not located in the oral cavity but not as high as that observed in pleomorphic T-cell lymphomas (all sites, 36%) or nasal cavity T-cell lymphomas (nearly 100%). Interestingly, EBV proliferation did not correlate with expression of either Bcl-2 or p53.

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