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Composite Recurrent Hodgkin Lymphoma and Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma
One Clone, Two Faces

Qin Huang MD, PhD, Sharon P. Wilczynski MD, PhD, Karen L. Chang MD, Lawrence M. Weiss MD
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1309/DDGLWRV3KR9164G7 222-229 First published online: 1 August 2006


We describe a composite lymphoma with recurrent Hodgkin lymphoma and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma components manifesting as a single, perforated small intestinal tumor in a 56-year-old man with a history of classical Hodgkin lymphoma and recent relapse in the bone marrow. The resected mass had 2 morphologically and immunophenotypically distinct components; 1 showed a pleomorphic cellular infiltrate with fibrosis and contained numerous, large Hodgkin/Reed-Sternberg–like cells and variants. The tumor cells were CD30+ and focally positive for CD15 but CD20–, CD79a–, and PAX-5–. In situ hybridization for Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) was strongly positive in the large pleomorphic tumor cells. The adjacent component displayed sheets of relatively uniform, large lymphoid cells with typical morphologic features of diffuse large cell lymphoma. The tumor cells showed uniform expression of tested B-cell antigens, absence of CD30 or CD15, and complete absence of EBV-encoded RNA. Separate molecular studies with immunoglobulin heavy and light chain gene rearrangements clearly demonstrated an identical rearrangement pattern, indicating derivation from the same clone, which was confirmed by direct DNA sequencing analysis. Such distinctly different morphology, immunophenotype, and EBV status in different components within a clonally related single tumor mass is striking.

Key Words:
  • Composite lymphoma
  • Lymphoma
  • Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma
  • Epstein-Barr virus