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Int J Cancer. 1997 Jan 6;70(1):9-13.

Epstein-Barr virus in lymphoproliferative diseases in the sino-nasal region: close association with CD56+ immunophenotype and polymorphic-reticulosis morphology.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Osaka University Medical School, Suita, Japan.


Association between Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and nasal T-cell lymphoma (NTL) has been demonstrated. NTL has 2 types of histologic figures: one is ordinary non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) with monomorphous proliferation, and the other is polymorphic-reticulosis (PR) morphology. The presence of the EBV genome and its sub-types (A and B) were examined on paraffin-embedded specimens from 36 cases of sino-nasal lymphomas (SNL) collected from Seoul, Republic of Korea, where the frequency of NTL is high. Patients' ages ranged from 2 to 74 years (median 54 years) with a male-to-female ratio of 2.5:1. Immunophenotypically, 8 cases were B-cell type, 11 were T-cell type with CD56-, 14 were CD56+ type, and 3 were null-cell type. Five of 11 cases with ordinary NHL of T-cell type and 9 of 14 cases with PR were CD56+. The EBV genome was found by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and in the tumor cells by in situ hybridization (ISH) in 1 of 4 B-cell type (25%), 5 of 10 T-cell type (50%), 11 of 13 CD56+ type (85%), and in both of null-cell type (100%). Of 16 cases with PR morphology, 15 (94%) were positive for the EBV genome. All of the 5 NTLs of ordinary NHL with CD56- were negative for EBV. Concerning the sub-type of EBV, 16 cases had type A, while none had type-B EBV. These findings suggest that NTL comprises 2 groups: EBV-positive NTLs are CD56+ and/or histologically PR, and EBV-negative NTLs are CD56- and histologically ordinary NHL. The current results on Korean patients, together with earlier studies on Japanese and Malaysian patients, have shown the predominance of type-A EBV in sino-nasal lymphoma in Asia.

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