Prostatic acid phosphatase: a possible diagnostic marker of intravascular large B-cell lymphoma

Haematologica. 2004 May 1;89(5):ECR13. Print 2004 May.


Background and objective: Intravascular large B-cell lymphoma (IVL) has been treated as fever of unknown origin (FUO), and many patients have been treated inadequately based on incorrect diagnoses. We previously cares for a patient with IVL who tested positive for prostatic acid phosphatase (PAP), a marker of prostate cancer. Since then, we have regularly examined this mather when IVL was suspected to investigate the usefulness of PAP as a diagnostic marker for IVL. We retrospectively evaluated the usefulness of PAP as diagnostic marker of IVL.

Design and methods: We reviewed the clinical courses of 5 patients with IVL (3 males, 2 females) in comparison with 23 controls with hematologic malignancies other than IVL.

Results: Serum levels of PAP were elevated in all 5 patients with IVL and 2 of the 23 controls. The difference was statistically significant using a chi-squared test (p=0.0002). The sensitivity and specificity of PAP were 100% and 91%, respectively, in the diagnosis of IVL. Its serum levels were closely associated with disease status.

Interpretation and conclusions: This study suggests that PAP might be a useful marker for the screening and assessment of disease activity and responses to the treatment of IVL.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Acid Phosphatase
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / blood*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Clinical Enzyme Tests
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell / blood
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell / diagnosis*
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse / diagnosis*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Protein Tyrosine Phosphatases / blood*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Vascular Neoplasms / diagnosis*


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Acid Phosphatase
  • prostatic acid phosphatase
  • Protein Tyrosine Phosphatases