Inflammatory pseudotumor-like follicular dendritic cell tumor: a distinctive low-grade malignant intra-abdominal neoplasm with consistent Epstein-Barr virus association

Department of Pathology, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Hong Kong.
American Journal of Surgical Pathology (Impact Factor: 4.59). 07/2001; 25(6):721-31.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Follicular dendritic cell (FDC) tumors are uncommon neoplasms that can involve lymph nodes or extranodal sites. They can exhibit a broad spectrum of histologic appearances and behavior, but the intra-abdominal ones usually pursue an aggressive course. The purpose of this study was to characterize a distinctive variant of FDC tumor morphologically mimicking inflammatory pseudotumor through analysis of the clinicopathologic features of 11 cases. The patients included 10 women and one man (age range, 19-61 years; median age, 40 years) who presented with abdominal discomfort or pain. Six patients had systemic symptoms such as marked weight loss, fever, or malaise. All tumors occurred in intra-abdominal sites: liver (n = 7), spleen (n = 3), and peripancreatic region (n = 1). Of the nine patients with follow-up data, six were alive and well, one developed recurrence at 9 years, and two had repeated recurrences over many years. Grossly, the tumors were usually solitary and fleshy, punctuated by areas of hemorrhage and necrosis. Histologically, in a background of abundant lymphocytes and plasma cells were dispersed spindle or ovoid cells with vesicular nuclei and distinct nucleoli. The degree of nuclear atypia was variable, and some nuclei could be grotesque or resemble Reed-Sternberg cells. Focally, spindle cell fascicles could be formed. The atypical cells were immunoreactive for FDC markers such as CD21/CD35, CD23, and CNA.42. In situ hybridization for Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-encoded RNA was positive in all cases, remarkably highlighting the spindle cells and their atypia. EBV-latent membrane protein-1 was expressed commonly, albeit often focally and weakly. Therefore, inflammatory pseudotumor-like FDC tumor represents a distinctive variant of FDC tumor that differs from conventional FDC tumor in the following aspects: marked female predominance; selective localization in intra-abdominal sites, especially the liver and spleen; frequent presence of systemic symptoms; indolent behavior despite an intra-abdominal location; dispersed distribution of tumor cells and prominent lymphoplasmacytic infiltration; and consistent association with EBV.

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