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Am J Surg Pathol. 1998 Sep;22(9):1093-100.

Proliferation and cellular phenotype in lymphomatoid granulomatosis: implications of a higher proliferation index in B cells.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, USA.


Pulmonary involvement by lymphomatoid granulomatosis (LYG) is characterized by nodules of a polymorphous lymphoreticular infiltrate with necrosis, angioinvasion, and variable numbers of large, atypical cells. Using combined immunohistochemistry, the authors compared the expression of a marker of proliferation (DNA topoisomerase IIalpha) between B cells, T cells, and histiocytes. Sixteen cases of LYG were stained by combined immunohistochemistry for DNA topoisomerase IIalpha and CD-20, CD-3, CD-68, and CD-57. A proliferation index was determined for B cells, T cells, histiocytes, and natural killer cells by dividing the number of cells with coexpression of DNA topoisomerase IIalpha and CD-20, CD-3, CD-68, or CD-57 by the total number of CD-20+, CD-3+, CD-68+, or CD-57+ cells, respectively. A significantly higher proliferation index was present in B cells compared to T cells, histiocytes, or natural killer cells (p < 0.002). The average proliferation index for B cells was 0.25+/-0.24 (range, 0.00-0.76), for T cells was 0.02+/-0.01 (range, 0.00-0.04), for histiocytes was 0.00+/-0.01 (range, 0-0.02), and for natural killer cells was 0.00+/-0.00 (range, 0.0-0.02). The average proliferation index of CD-20+ cells was greater in grade III LYG (0.36) than in grade II LYG (0.17) or the single case of grade I LYG (0.00). The authors conclude that (1) there is a spectrum of B-cell proliferation in LYG that roughly correlates with histologic grade, (2) T cells, histiocytes, and natural killer cells do not proliferate but are recruited, and (3) the average B-cell proliferation index in grade III LYG is similar to that observed in large cell non-Hodgkin's B-cell lymphomas. These observations provide a possible rationale for the use of chemotherapy for grade III LYG and observation or immunologic adjuvants for LYG with grade I or grade II histology.

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