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Pathol Res Pract. 2004;200(1):47-51.

Atypical lymphocytosis resembling non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in peritoneal effusion of infectious mononucleosis: a case report.

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Department of Clinical Laboratories, Isesaki Municipal Hospital, 12-1, Tsunatorihonmachi 372-0817, Isesaki, Japan.


Peritoneal effusion appears to be an unusual complication of infectious mononucleosis (IM). The cytological features of peritoneal effusion from a patient affected by IM are presented. The patient was a 21-year-old Japanese woman, with typical and physical findings of IM. Ascites disappeared with resolution of acute IM. The cytospin smears of the ascitic fluid were highly cellular, consisting exclusively of lymphoid cells. Lymphoid cells were composed of large cells with broad basophilic cytoplasm, as well as of small to medium-sized cells having scant cytoplasm and irregularly shaped nuclei. The overall cytomorphological pictures posed serious difficulties in differentiating this condition from those of peripheral T-cell lymphomas manifesting ascites. The majority of atypical lymphocytes, including large cells, expressed CD3 and CD8. The present case indicates that IM should be added to the list of lesions considered for the differential diagnosis of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma of the peritoneal fluid, particularly regarding young adults.

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