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Secondary cutaneous Epstein-Barr virus-associated diffuse large B-cell lymphoma in a patient with angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma: a case report and review of literature

Qing-Xu Yang1, Xiao-Juan Pei12, Xiao-Ying Tian3, Yang Li2 and Zhi Li2*

Author affiliations

1 Department of Pathology, Huizhou Municipal Central Hospital, 41, Eling Road North, Huizhou 516001, China

2 Department of Pathology, The First Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, 58, Zhongshan Road II, Guangzhou 510080, China

3 School of Chinese Medicine, Hong Kong Baptist University, 7, Baptist University Road, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong, China

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Citation and License

Diagnostic Pathology 2012, 7:7  doi:10.1186/1746-1596-7-7

Published: 19 January 2012


Only a few cases of extranodal Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-associated B-cell lymphomas arising from patients with angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma (AITL) have been described. We report a case of AITL of which secondary cutaneous EBV-associated diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) developed after the initial diagnosis of AITL. A 65-year-old Chinese male patient was diagnosed as AITL based on typical histological and immunohistochemical characteristics in biopsy of the enlarged right inguinal lymph nodes. The patient initially received 6 cycles of chemotherapy with CHOP regimen (cyclophosphamide, vincristine, adriamycin, prednisone), but his symptoms did not disappear. Nineteen months after initial diagnosis of AITL, the patient was hospitalized again because of multiple plaques and nodules on the skin. The skin biopsy was performed, but this time the tumor was composed of large, polymorphous population of lymphocytes with CD20 and CD79a positive on immunohistochemical staining. The tumor cells were strong positive for EBER by in situ hybridization. The findings of skin biopsy were compatible with EBV-associated DLBCL. CHOP-R chemotherapy (cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, prednisone and rituximab) was then administered, resulting in partial response of the disease with pancytopenia and suppression of cellular immunity. To our knowledge, this is the first case of cutaneous EBV-associated DLBCL originated from AITL in Chinese pepole. We suggest the patients with AITL should perform lymph node and skin biopsies regularly in the course of the disease to detect the progression of secondary lymphomas.

Virtual slides

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Angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma; Epstein-Barr virus; secondary B-cell lymphoma; skin lesion