In the present study, 21 cases of adult/late-onset EBV-associated lymphoproliferative disease (AELPD) with an uncertain malignant potential were investigated with regard to their histomorphology, immunophenotype, clonal rearrangement of the heavy chain (IgH) and T-cell receptor (TCR) genes and clinical course. The cases were histomorphologically reevaluated and assigned to one of three morphological groups: mononucleosis-like, Hodgkin-like, or polymorphous. In addition, cases with or without detectable necrosis were investigated for differences in clinical outcome. Overall survival was highest in the group with Hodgkin-like morphology (4/4 patients), followed by patients with mononucleosis-like phenotype (4/5 patients surviving). Cases with polymorphous morphology showed the poorest survival rates with 7/12 patients dead of disease (58%). 4/6 patients with histologically detectable necrosis died (66%), but only 4/15 patients without necrosis (27%). 11/21 cases with AELPD showed clonal rearrangement for IgH (n = 4), TCR (n = 5) or IgH + TCR (n = 2). 5/11 patients with clonal rearrangement died (45%), and this percentage was similar in all of the three subgroups. In conclusion, the present study shows that polymorphous morphology and detection of necrosis in AELPD are frequently linked to a fatal clinical course, whereas Hodgkin-like morphology seems to be associated with a more favourable prognosis. Clonal rearrangement of IgH or TCR is frequent in AELPD, but prognosis is unpredictable from this feature.
Keywords: B-cell clonality; EBV; Lymphoproliferation; Outcome.
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