Peripheral T cell lymphoma: immunologic and cell-kinetic observations associated with morphological progression

Blood. 1985 Oct;66(4):980-9.


Peripheral T cell lymphomas (PTCLs) form a morphologically heterogeneous group of non-Hodgkin's lymphomas that are generally considered to have immunophenotypes associated with mature T cells, usually those of helper T cells. We now describe and correlate the clinical, morphological, immunologic, and cell-kinetic findings based on the evaluation of eight tissue samples obtained at various times from a 13-year-old girl with PTCL. The early morphological expressions of this patient's PTCL were those of diffuse mixed-cell lymphoma and focal large-cell lymphoma (LCL) evolving from the histologic picture of an atypical immune response (AIR). These morphological findings were associated with an immature T cell immunophenotype associated with cortical thymocytes--namely, sheep erythrocyte rosette (sER)+, T11+, Leu-2a+, Leu-3a+, HLA-DR+, OKT6-, OKT9+, OKT10+--and with cell-kinetic findings that showed no evidence of aneuploidy and few cells in S phase. Diffuse pleomorphic LCL developed, which was associated with further dedifferentiation of the neoplastic T cells to the immunophenotype sER-, T11+, Leu-2a-, Leu-3a-, HLA-DR+, OKT6-, OKT9+, OKT10- and with cell-kinetic findings that demonstrated a distinct aneuploid population and a dramatic increase in the percentage of cells in the S phase. The immunophenotype of the PTCL at the time of the patient's death was T11-, Leu-2a-, Leu-3a-, HLA-DR+, OKT6-, OKT9+, OKT10-, an immunophenotype indistinguishable from that of a non-B non-T cell lymphoma. The immunologic findings in this case also suggest that an AIR in some cases may represent a prelymphomatous state or may be a morphological expression of PTCL. These observations indicate that PTCLs may be characterized by rapidly changing clinical, morphological, immunologic, and cell kinetic findings which are best evaluated by multidisciplinary studies.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Antibodies / analysis
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Isoantibodies / analysis
  • Lung / pathology
  • Lymph Nodes / pathology
  • Lymphoma / immunology*
  • Rosette Formation
  • Skin / pathology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / pathology*


  • Antibodies
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Isoantibodies