Natural killer cell-derived large granular lymphocyte lymphoma of lung developed in a patient with hypersensitivity to mosquito bites and reactivated Epstein-Barr virus infection

Am J Hematol. 1998 Dec;59(4):309-15. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1096-8652(199812)59:4<309::aid-ajh7>;2-b.


A 17-year-old female developed natural killer (NK) cell-derived large granular lymphocyte (LGL) lymphoma of the lung. She had a past history of hypersensitivity to mosquito bites (HMB). After an eight-year chronic, active Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection, she developed multiple lung lesions and pleural effusion. In the effusion, 60% of the cells were LGL. They were CD2+, 3-, 16+, 56+, 57+, 45RO+/RA + weak, and possessed strong NK activity. No rearrangement of T-cell-receptor genes was detected. From all these results, a diagnosis of NK-LGL lymphoma of the lung was made. EB virus DNA was detected in cells infiltrating the pleural effusion. The clonality of the LGLs was determined by Southern blot hybridization with the terminal repeat sequence of EB virus as a probe, and by chromosomal abnormalities. The patient died from respiratory failure. Necropsy of the lung revealed diffuse lymphoma composed of polymorphic cells with typical angiocentric lesions. Reportedly, lymphomas of NK lineage show predominantly extranodal involvement, and primary lung lesions are rare. In the pleural effusion of the present case, abnormally high levels of soluble Fas ligand, interleukin-10 and interferon gamma were detected. This hypercytokinemia, reflecting the microenvironment of lymphoma cells, may play a role in the progression of the lymphoma and organ injury in the lung.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Animals
  • Chromosome Aberrations
  • Chronic Disease
  • Clone Cells
  • Culicidae
  • Cytokines / metabolism*
  • DNA, Neoplasm / analysis
  • DNA, Viral / isolation & purification
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Infections / complications*
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Female
  • Hepatomegaly / etiology
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / isolation & purification
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / pathogenicity
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity, Immediate / complications*
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Insect Bites and Stings / complications*
  • Insect Bites and Stings / immunology
  • Killer Cells, Natural / pathology*
  • Lung Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Lung Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Lung Neoplasms / virology
  • Lymphoma / etiology*
  • Lymphoma / metabolism
  • Lymphoma / pathology
  • Lymphoma / virology
  • Pleural Effusion, Malignant / chemistry
  • Splenomegaly / etiology
  • Virus Activation


  • Cytokines
  • DNA, Neoplasm
  • DNA, Viral