Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am J Surg Pathol. 2013 Jun;37(6):816-26. doi: 10.1097/PAS.0b013e3182785610.

Peripheral T-cell lymphomas of follicular T-helper cell derivation with Hodgkin/Reed-Sternberg cells of B-cell lineage: both EBV-positive and EBV-negative variants exist.

Author information

Hematopathology Section §Molecular Diagnostics Unit, Laboratory of Pathology, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


Peripheral T-cell lymphomas (PTCLs) are functionally and morphologically complex. Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-positive B cells have been reported in angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma (AITL) and other PTCLs and may mimic Hodgkin/Reed-Sternberg (HRS) cells, but EBV-negative HRS-like B cells have not been described. We wished to assess the nature of the PTCL associated with HRS-like cells and to determine whether EBV-negative HRS-like cells may be seen. We identified 57 PTCL cases reported as containing HRS-like cells. These included 32 AITL, 19 PTCL, not otherwise specified (NOS), 3 PTCL-NOS, follicular variant, 1 PTCL-NOS, T-zone variant, and 2 adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma cases. All patients were adults with a median age of 63 and presented with lymphadenopathy. The male:female ratio was 31:26 (1.2:1). Clonal TRG rearrangement was detected in 46/53 cases. Six of 38 cases had a concomitant clonal immunoglobulin gene rearrangement. In 52/57 cases the HRS cells were positive for EBV. Five cases, 3 classified as AITL and 2 as PTCL-NOS, follicular variant, contained HRS-like cells negative for EBV. All PTCLs with EBV-negative HRS cells had a T follicular helper cell immunophenotype. The neoplastic T cells expressed CD3, CD4, and PD-1 and formed rosettes around the HRS-like cells. The HRS-like cells were positive for CD20 (variable intensity), PAX5, CD30, and CD15 (4/5). We conclude that both EBV-positive and EBV-negative HRS-like B cells may occur in the background of PTCL; caution is needed to avoid misdiagnosis as classical Hodgkin lymphoma. The close interaction between the HRS-like cells and the rosetting PD-1-positive T cells suggests a possible pathogenetic role in this phenomenon and provides new insights into the abnormal B-cell proliferations that occur in the context of TFH malignancies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Wolters Kluwer Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center