Transient appearance of CD3+CD8+ T lymphocytes with monoclonal gene rearrangement of T-cell receptor beta locus

Br J Haematol. 1998 Feb;100(2):411-4. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2141.1998.00555.x.


A benign, transient proliferation of atypical lymphocytes and a monoclonal rearrangement of the T-cell receptor beta (TRB) locus was found in a 60-year-old woman who presented with low-grade fever, anorexia and fatigue. A marked and transient atypical lymphocytosis (white blood cell count 90.5 x 10(9)/l) with CD8 surface antigen improved without specific treatment. Although tests for IgM antibodies to hepatitis A, varicella zoster, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), and cytomegalovirus (CMV) were all negative, a monoclonal gene rearrangement of TRB locus was observed in the DNA of the proliferated atypical lymphocytes by Southern blotting. The clonal rearrangement and the atypical lymphocytes disappeared after 14 d, and the patient has remained well for 7 years. These results suggest that monoclonal proliferation of CD8 lymphocytes can occur based on a non-neoplastic aetiology.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Blotting, Southern
  • CD3 Complex / immunology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • DNA, Viral / analysis
  • Female
  • Gene Rearrangement, beta-Chain T-Cell Antigen Receptor / immunology*
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / isolation & purification
  • Human T-lymphotropic virus 1 / isolation & purification
  • Humans
  • Lymphocytosis / immunology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*


  • CD3 Complex
  • DNA, Viral
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta