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Histologic Patterns of Lung Infiltration of B-Cell, T-Cell, and Hodgkin Lymphomas

Maria B.G. Costa MD, PhD, Sheila A.C. Siqueira MD, Paulo H.N. Saldiva MD, PhD, Klaus F. Rabe MD, PhD, Thais Mauad MD, PhD
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1309/R4BRRADYF20K49HE 718-726 First published online: 1 May 2004


Secondary lung infiltration by lymphomas occurs frequently. To our knowledge, however, no recent studies have attempted to discriminate histologic patterns of lung infiltration in the lymphoma subtypes. We retrospectively evaluated the frequency of lung infiltration and the respective infiltration patterns by lymphomas at autopsy, during an 11-year period. Lymphomas were classified according to the 2001 World Health Organization Classification of hematologic malignancies in B-cell, T-cell, and Hodgkin lymphomas (HLs). In 21,157 autopsies, 414 reports with lymphoma diagnosis were reviewed histologically, and 85 showed lung infiltration (20.5%). We studied 14 HLs, 43 B-cell lymphomas, and 20 T-cell lymphomas. Five infiltration patterns were identified: peribronchial-perivascular, nodular, alveolar, interstitial, and pleural. Approximately half of the lymphomas had more than 1 infiltration pattern (mean, 1.7); peribronchial-perivascular and pleural were the most frequent. The frequency of nodular infiltration was larger in HL than in B-cell lymphomas. T-cell lymphomas had a larger frequency of the interstitial infiltration pattern compared with B-cell lymphomas. Recognizing the frequency and patterns of lung infiltration in the light of a more recent classification is certainly useful for physicians dealing with lymphoma diagnostic procedures, such as radiologists and pathologists.

Key Words:
  • Lung infiltration
  • Autopsy
  • Hodgkin lymphoma
  • B-cell lymphoma
  • T-cell lymphoma