Composite recurrent hodgkin lymphoma and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma: one clone, two faces

Am J Clin Pathol. 2006 Aug;126(2):222-9. doi: 10.1309/DDGL-WRV3-KR91-64G7.


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 k 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.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, CD / analysis
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis
  • Clone Cells / chemistry
  • Clone Cells / pathology
  • DNA, Neoplasm / analysis
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Infections / complications
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Infections / pathology
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Gene Rearrangement, B-Lymphocyte, Heavy Chain / genetics
  • Gene Rearrangement, B-Lymphocyte, Light Chain / genetics
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / genetics
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / isolation & purification
  • Hodgkin Disease / metabolism
  • Hodgkin Disease / pathology*
  • Hodgkin Disease / virology
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell / chemistry
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell / pathology*
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell / virology
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse / chemistry
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse / pathology*
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse / virology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local*
  • Neoplasms, Multiple Primary / chemistry
  • Neoplasms, Multiple Primary / pathology*
  • Neoplasms, Multiple Primary / virology
  • RNA, Viral / analysis
  • Reed-Sternberg Cells / pathology


  • Antigens, CD
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • DNA, Neoplasm
  • RNA, Viral