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Am J Surg Pathol. 1998 Sep;22(9):1048-58.

Reticulum cell neoplasms of lymph nodes: a clinicopathologic study of 11 cases with recognition of a new subtype derived from fibroblastic reticular cells.

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  • 1Department of Hematatologic and Lymphatic Pathology, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington, DC 20306-6000, USA.


Lymph nodes contain nonlymphoid accessory cells including follicular dendritic cells (FDCs), interdigitating dendritic cells (IDCs) and fibroblastic reticular cells (FBRCs). Neoplasms derived from FDCs are uncommon, and those of IDC origin are even more rare. We report the clinicopathologic features of 11 reticulum cell neoplasms, including 2 of FBRC origin. There were seven male patients and four female patients ranging in age from 13 to 73 years. All cases involved lymph nodes (cervical or supraclavicular-6 cases), (abdominal--2 cases), epitrochlear (1 case); two had more than one site of involvement (cervical lymph node and mediastinum--1 case, cervical and abdominal lymph nodes--1 case). One case of FDC tumor had concomitant Castleman's disease, plasma cell variant. Each neoplasm showed similar histology with oval-to-spindle-shaped cells in a storiform or fascicular pattern. Based on immunophenotypic findings, the neoplasms were classified as FDC (five cases), IDC (two cases), FBRC (three cases), and reticulum cell neoplasm, not otherwise specified (one case). The FDC tumors showed immunoreactivity for CD21 or CD35, vimentin, and CD68. The IDC tumors showed strong positivity for S-100 protein and variable positivity for CD68 and CD1a. The cases derived from FBRCs were positive for vimentin, desmin, and smooth-muscle actin. The neoplasm classified as reticulum cell neoplasm, not otherwise specified had similar morphologic features but showed only equivocal positivity for CD68 and vimentin. Follow-up was available for 9 of 11 (82%) cases with a mean of 3.5 years. Four of five patients with FDC tumors were alive with disease when last seen; the fifth is alive and well with no evidence of disease at 4-year follow-up. One patient with IDC tumor had a recurrence in a different nodal site. Two patients with FBRC tumor were disease free at follow-up of 2 years and 8 years, respectively. The patient with reticulum cell neoplasm, not otherwise specified, was alive and disease free 8 years after diagnosis.

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