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Plasmablastic microlymphoma occurring in human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8)-positive multicentric Castleman's disease and featuring a follicular growth pattern: Case report

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Dargent JL, Lespagnard L, Sirtaine N, Cantinieaux B, Li R, Hermans P. Plasmablastic microlymphoma occurring in human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8)-positive multicentric Castleman's disease and featuring a follicular growth pattern. APMIS 2007;115:869–74.

Plasmablastic microlymphoma (PML) is defined as the accumulation of monotypic but polyclonal plasmablasts in lymphoid tissues involved in human herpes virus 8 (HHV-8)-positive multicentric Castleman's disease (MCD). So far, the nature of this very rare condition remains poorly determined. In this study, we describe a human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-seropositive patient who developed a PML in the setting of HHV-8-positive MCD. In contrast to the cases previously reported, most of the plasmablasts in our patient were localized within the germinal center (GC) of lymphoid follicles. These plasmablasts expressed the multiple myeloma-1/interferon regulatory factor-4 (MUM1/IRF4) protein as well as IgMλ in a monotypic fashion. They did not show any immunoreactivity with antibodies directed against Pax-5, CD20, CD79a, CD10, CD30, CD23, CD138, epithelial membrane antigen (EMA) or BCL-6. These cells exhibited a high proliferation rate, expressed the HHV-8 latent nuclear antigen-1, and secreted the HHV-8 viral homologue of human interleukin-6. Polymerase chain reaction analysis did not demonstrate any clonal rearrangement of the genes coding for the heavy chain of the immunoglobulin. Moreover, no Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) RNA transcript could be found, using in situ hybridization. The present case illustrates that PML may arise within the GC of lymphoid follicles in the absence of EBV coinfection. In our opinion, PML occurring in MCD likely represents a variant of HHV-8-positive MCD in which lytic HHV-8 replication is particularly prominent, due to a local or systemic immune imbalance.

Keywords: Human herpes virus-8; human immunodeficiency virus; multicentric Castleman's disease; plasmablastic microlymphoma

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Pathology, ULB-Institut Jules Bordet/CHU Saint-Pierre and Departments of 2: Hematology and 3: Internal Medicine, CHU Saint-Pierre, Brussels, Belgium

Publication date: 2007-07-01

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