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Mod Pathol. 1998 Jun;11(6):525-32.

Multiparametric flow cytometry in the diagnosis and characterization of low-grade pulmonary mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphomas.

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Department of Pathology and Shands Hospital, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville 32610-0275, USA.


Primary mucosa associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphomas are rare neoplasms that seem to have a better prognosis than nodal lymphomas. Morphologic diagnosis of these lesions may be difficult because of features that overlap with those of benign lymphoid infiltrates. In this study, we assessed the contribution of multi-parametric flow cytometry in demonstrating clonality and further characterizing pulmonary MALT lymphomas. Based on a clinical or pathologic suspicion of MALT-lymphoma, 3 transbronchial biopsies, 4 fine needle aspirates, 1 core needle biopsy, and 13 wedge excisions of lung were submitted fresh (unfixed) to our laboratory for evaluation. Among the 13 cases diagnosed as MALT lymphomas, B-cell monoclonality was established by identifying expression of a single immunoglobulin light chain on CD20 or CD19-positive cells in 12 cases. One case lacked expression of both light chains on B-cells. Of 11 lymphoma cases in which CD5 and CD10 surface antigens were assessed, no cases expressed CD10, and 1 case demonstrated weak CD5 expression. Nine of 10 cases studied were diploid and 1 case was hyperdiploid. All of the lymphomas displayed low (< or = 3%) S-phase fractions consistent with low grade processes. In 10 patients with short follow-up, none died of their disease and the majority had no evidence of lymphoma dissemination. In seven of the remaining eight cases, B-cells were polyclonal consistent with reactive processes. In one morphologically reactive case, flow cytometric analysis was unsuccessful because of poor cell viability. The pulmonary MALT lymphomas in this study represent a group of B-cell tumors with distinctive morphologic, immunophenotypic, and cell kinetic characteristics. Multi-parametric flow cytometry is useful for confirming B-cell monoclonality and illustrating an antigenic profile compatible with this diagnosis. Flow cytometry can be particularly helpful when working with small biopsies and cytologic samples with limited diagnostic material and may abrogate the need for more aggressive surgical procedures.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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