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Am J Clin Pathol. 2005 Nov;124(5):790-8.

Germinal center and activated b-cell profiles separate Burkitt lymphoma and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma in AIDS and non-AIDS cases.

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Department of Pathology, Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY 10467, USA.


Morphologic features of Burkitt lymphoma (BL) and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) overlap. No single phenotypic marker or molecular abnormality is pathognomonic. We tested a panel of 8 germinal center (GC) and activated B-cell (ABC) markers for their ability to separate BL and DLBCL. We diagnosed 16 BL and 39 DLBCL cases from 21 patients with AIDS and 34 without AIDS based on traditional morphologic criteria, Ki-67 proliferative index, and c-myc rearrangement (fluorescence in situ hybridization). After immunohistochemically staining tissue microarrays of BL and DLBCL for markers of GC (bcl-6, CD10, cyclin H) and ABC (MUM1, CD138, PAK1, CD44, bcl-2), we scored each case for the percentage of positive cells. Hierarchical clustering yielded 2 major clusters significantly associated with morphologic diagnosis (P < .001). For comparison, we plotted the sum of the GC scores and ABC scores for each case as x and y data points. This revealed a high-GC/low-ABC group and a low-GC/high-ABC group that were associated significantly with morphologic diagnosis (P < .001). Protein expression of multiple GC and ABC markers can separate BL and DLBCL.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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