Primary anaplastic large cell lymphoma of the lung: a clinicopathologic study of five patients

Mod Pathol. 2000 Dec;13(12):1285-92. doi: 10.1038/modpathol.3880235.


Primary anaplastic large-cell lymphoma is a rare malignancy in the lung. Anaplastic large-cell lymphoma characteristically involves the lymph nodes or skin, with few reports from other sites. We studied the clinical and pathologic features of five cases of anaplastic large-cell lymphoma limited to the lungs. The patients were three women and two men aged 27 to 66 years (mean, 44.6 y) The tumors ranged in size from 1.1 to 5 cm. All patients were CD 30 (Ki-1) positive and CD 15 (LeuM-1) negative. Epithelial membrane antigen immunoreactivity was seen in two patients. Epstein-Barr virus was not detected by immunohistochemistry (four patients tested) or by polymerase chain reaction studies (three patients tested). The immunophenotypes were T cell (n = 3) and null (n = 2). Gene rearrangement studies supported the immunophenotypic findings. One patient who had underlying HIV infection died of infectious complications. One patient died at 6 months. Two patients developed recurrent disease and are alive after 42 and 51 months of follow-up. The remaining patient is alive at 8 years of follow-up without evidence of disease. ALCL can mimic metastatic or primary carcinoma and should be considered in the differential diagnosis of large cell neoplasms of the lung.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Female
  • Gene Rearrangement
  • HIV Infections / complications
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Lung Neoplasms / genetics
  • Lung Neoplasms / immunology
  • Lung Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse / etiology
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse / genetics
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse / metabolism
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Survival Analysis