Intraocular lymphoma: diagnostic approach and immunophenotypic findings in vitrectomy specimens

Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2009 Aug;133(8):1233-7. doi: 10.5858/133.8.1233.


Context: Diagnosis and classification of primary intraocular lymphoma can be challenging because of the sparse cellularity of the vitreous specimens.

Objective: To classify and clinically correlate intraocular lymphoma according to the World Health Organization (WHO) classification by using vitrectomy specimens.

Design: Clinical history, cytologic preparations, flow cytometry reports, and outcome of 16 patients diagnosed with intraocular lymphoma were reviewed.

Results: The study group included 10 women and 6 men. The mean age of the patients was 63 years (range, 19-79 years). Eleven patients had central nervous system involvement and 6 patients had systemic involvement. All cases were adequately diagnosed and classified according to the WHO classification by using combination of cytologic preparations and 4-color flow cytometry with a limited panel of antibodies to CD19, CD20, CD5, CD10, and kappa and lambda light chains. The cases included 9 primary diffuse large B-cell lymphomas of the CNS type; 2 diffuse large B-cell lymphomas, not otherwise specified; 1 extranodal, low-grade, marginal zone lymphoma of mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT); 1 precursor B-lymphoblastic lymphoma; and 3 peripheral T-cell lymphomas, not otherwise specified. Of note, all 11 cases of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma were CD10-. All the patients received systemic chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Only 4 patients were free of disease at last follow-up (range, 18 months to 8 years), with severe visual loss.

Conclusions: Intraocular lymphoma cases can be adequately classified according to the WHO classification. Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, CD10- and most likely of non-germinal center B-cell-like subgroup, is the most common subtype of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in this site, in contrast to ocular adnexal lymphoma for which MALT lymphoma is the most common subtype.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cytodiagnosis / methods
  • Eye Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Eye Neoplasms / immunology
  • Eye Neoplasms / mortality
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Immunophenotyping*
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell, Marginal Zone / classification
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell, Marginal Zone / diagnosis
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell, Marginal Zone / surgery
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse / classification
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse / diagnosis
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse / surgery
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / diagnosis*
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / immunology
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / mortality
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate
  • Texas / epidemiology
  • Vitrectomy / methods*
  • Vitreous Body / pathology*
  • World Health Organization
  • Young Adult