IgG4-Related Lymphadenopathy

Department of Pathology, Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2-5-1 Shikata-cho, Kita-ku, Okayama 700-8558, Japan.
International Journal of Rheumatology 06/2012; 2012:572539. DOI: 10.1155/2012/572539
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Lymphadenopathy is frequently observed in patients with immunoglobulin G4-related disease (IgG4-RD) and sometimes appears as the first manifestation of the disease. The diagnosis of IgG4-related lymphadenopathy is complicated owing to a great histological diversity, with at least 5 histological subtypes. Indeed, lymph node biopsy may be performed under the suspicion that the lymphadenopathy is a malignant lymphoma or other lymphoproliferative disorder. The diagnosis of IgG4-RD is characterized by both elevated serum IgG4 (>135 mg/dL) and histopathological features, including a dense lymphoplasmacytic infiltrate rich in IgG4(+) plasma cells (IgG4(+)/IgG(+) plasma cell ratio >40%). However, patients with hyper-interleukin (IL-) 6 syndromes such as multicentric Castleman's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and other immune-mediated conditions frequently show lymph node involvement and often fulfill the diagnostic criteria for IgG4-RD. Owing to these factors, IgG4-RD cannot be differentiated from hyper-IL-6 syndromes on the basis of histological findings alone. Laboratory analyses are crucial to differentiate between the 2 diseases. Hyper-IL-6 syndromes are characterized by elevated serum levels of IgG, IgA, IgM, and C-reactive protein (CRP); thrombocytosis; anemia; hypoalbuminemia; hypocholesterolemia. In contrast, IgG4-RD does not share any of these characteristics. Therefore, the diagnosis of IgG4-RD requires not only pathological findings but also clinical and laboratory analyses.

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