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Leukemia. 2002 Oct;16(10):2134-41.

Angio-immunoblastic T cell lymphoma (AILD-TL) rich in large B cells and associated with Epstein-Barr virus infection. A different subtype of AILD-TL?

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Department of Pathology (EA 219, University Paris V), Hôpital Necker-Enfants Malades, France.


We studied eight patients with characteristic features of angio-immunoblastic T cell lymphoma (AILD-TL) associated with more than 25% of large B cells. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis showed a clonal rearrangement of the T cell receptor (TCR)-gamma chain gene in all cases. One additional case showed a clonal rearrangement of the TCR-beta chain gene by Southern blot hybridization. PCR analysis showed a clonal immunoglobulin rearrangement in three cases presenting with more than 50% of large B cells whereas the other cases had a germline configuration. In 6/8 cases, double-labeling immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization demonstrated that Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) was mostly present in the large B cells but also detected in some T cells. We further evaluated the frequency of AILD-TL with more than 25% of large B cells in the 106 cases collected by the French GELA group and found an incidence of 18%. The outcome of these patients did not differ significantly from those with less than 25% of B cells. With this approach we confirm the heterogeneity of AILD-TL features and the possible association with a substantial numbers of CD20(+), EBV(+) large B cells. We propose to denominate these cases as 'AILD-TL rich in large B cells' and to consider them as a different entity which can be misdiagnosed as a reactive process or as T cell rich B cell lymphoma.

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