Frequent detection of human herpesvirus-6 sequences by polymerase chain reaction in paraffin-embedded lymph nodes from patients with angioimmunoblastic lymphadenopathy and angioimmunoblastic lymphadenopathy-like lymphoma

Leuk Res. 1993 Nov;17(11):1003-11. doi: 10.1016/0145-2126(93)90049-q.


In search of a possible involvement of viral agents in angioimmunoblastic lymphadenopathy with dysproteinaemia (AILD) and AILD-like lymphoma (AILD-L), we studied the presence of human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6) in the lymph node biopsies of 12 cases by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Given the rarity of this lymphoproliferative disorder, we investigated archival specimens, consisting of formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded tissues, obtained from patients with a clinical and histologic diagnosis of AILD and AILD-L. HHV-6 sequences were detected in the lymph node biopsies of 7 out of the 12 AILD and AILD-L cases examined. HHV-6 sequences were identified also in the involved liver and spleen tissues of one patient and in the PBMCs of two patients, all carrying viral sequences in the affected lymph nodes. We also used PCR to characterize the HHV-6 genomes, showing that two different viral strains are represented in the pathologic tissues. This study provides evidence of the presence of HHV-6 specific sequences in an unexpectedly high proportion of our series of AILD and AILD-L cases, suggesting a possible involvement of this lymphotropic virus in the pathogenesis of at least some cases of the disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • DNA, Viral / analysis*
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / isolation & purification
  • Herpesvirus 6, Human / genetics
  • Herpesvirus 6, Human / isolation & purification*
  • Humans
  • Immunoblastic Lymphadenopathy / microbiology*
  • Lymph Nodes / microbiology*
  • Lymphoma, Large-Cell, Immunoblastic / microbiology
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Paraffin Embedding
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Polymorphism, Genetic


  • DNA, Viral