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Epstein-Barr Virus–Associated B-Cell Lymphoproliferative Disorders in Angioimmunoblastic T-Cell Lymphoma and Peripheral T-Cell Lymphoma, Unspecified

Andreas Zettl MD, Seung-Sok Lee MD, Thomas Rüdiger MD, Petr Starostik MD, Mirella Marino MD, Thomas Kirchner MD, Michaela Ott MD, Hans Konrad Müller-Hermelink MD, German Ott MD
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1309/6UTX-GVC0-12ND-JJEU 368-379 First published online: 1 March 2002


Various patterns of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-associated B-cell lymphoproliferation occur in patients with immunodeficiency. We studied 17 cases of T-cell lymphoma displaying extensive EBV-driven B-cell lymphoproliferation or simultaneous/subsequent EBV-associated B-cell lymphoma. In 10 cases of angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma, an uncommonly prominent population of EBV+ atypical, activated, focally confluent large transformed B cells was found in the background of T-cell lymphoma. In 4 cases, an EBV-associated B-cell neoplasm (3 diffuse large B-cell lymphomas, 1 plasmacytoma) occurred in patients with T-cell lymphoma. Three cases were composite lymphomas of a peripheral T-cell lymphoma, unspecified, combined with EBV-associated diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. The transformed B-cell population displayed EBV latency types 2 and 3. Monoclonal and oligoclonal B-cell populations were detected in 5 and 6 cases, respectively. Similar to other states of immunodeficiency, disease-related and therapy-induced immunosuppression in T-cell lymphoma may lead to a prominent EBV-associated B-cell lymphoproliferation and to EBV+ B-cell neoplasms.

Key Words:
  • EBV
  • Epstein-Barr virus
  • B-cell lymphoproliferation
  • T-cell lymphoma