Distribution of Epstein-Barr virus in systemic rheumatic disease (rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, dermatomyositis) with associated lymphadenopathy: a study of 49 cases.

Department of Pathology and Clinical Laboratories, Gunma Cancer Center Hospital, 617-1 Takabayashinishi-cho, Ohta, Japan.
International Journal of Surgical Pathology (Impact Factor: 0.95). 08/2005; 13(3):273-8.
Source: PubMed


Among systemic rheumatic diseases (SRDs), lymphadenopathy is frequently found in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and systemic lupus erythematous (SLE). Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-associated lymphoproliferative disorders (LPDs) may occur in patients following methotrexate therapy for RA and dermatomyositis (DM). However, little is known about the distribution of EBV in reactive LPDs in patients with SRDs who had no history of methotrexate therapy. We analyzed 49 such patients (SLE=25, RA=23, DM=1) for the presence and distribution of EBV+ cells using Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-encoded small RNA (EBER) specific in situ hybridization. A positive signal for EBERs was identified in 9 (SLE=5, RA=4) (18%) of 49 cases, and 3 main distribution patterns of EBER+cells could be delineated: pattern A, more than 500 EBER-positive cells were located in the germinal centers as well as interfollicular area (SLE=2); pattern B, EBER + cells were located in a few germinal centers (RA=2); and pattern C, up to 100 EBER+ cells were located in the interfollicular area (SLE=3, RA=2). Recent EBV infection may be a cause of lymph node lesion in only 2 cases of patients with pattern A. However, the pathognomonic significance of pattern B and pattern C EBER + cell distribution patterns still remains unclear. Our study indicates that the underlying immune deficits of patients with SRDs may also play an important role in the development of EBV-associated LPDs in SRDs, as previously suggested by several authors.

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    • "Confirming this observation is difficult , but it may be of some value for the clinicopathological diagnosis of MRA. We analyzed 21 patients for the presence and distribution of EBV+ cells ISH [32]. A positive signal for EBERs was identified in four (19%) cases. "
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    ABSTRACT: Lymphadenopathy, which may be associated with systemic symptoms, is frequently associated with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Reactive non-neoplastic tissue comprises the majority of the lymph node lesions. However, several cohort studies have demonstrated that RA has an increased risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (NHLs). Since the early 1990s, an atypical or malignant lymphoproliferative disorders (LPD) in patients immunosupressed with methtorexate (MTX) therapy for RA has been emphasized, namely MTX-associated LPDs. Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) has received attention in connection with the etiology of RA. The present review describes the clinicopathologic and immunohistochemical findings of reactive, atypical and malignant LPDs associated with RA along with the presence or absence of EBV in LPDs using the in situ hybridization (ISH) method. The majority of reactive lymph node lesions exhibit reactive follicular hyperplasia with interfollicular polyclonal plasmacytosis. Atypical LPDs rarely appears in RA patients. However, these cases occasionally pose difficult problems in the differential diagnosis from malignant lymphomas associated with RA or atypical and malignant LPDs showing RA-like clinicopathological findings. Clinicopathologically, three types of atypical LPDs have delineated, i.e. (i) resembling multicentric Castleman's disease (MCD); (ii) atypical paracortical hyperplasia with lymphoid follicles (APHLF) and; (iii) atypical lymphoplasmacytic immunoblastic proliferation. Malignant lymphoma associated with RA is characterized by; (i) predominance of elderly cases; (ii) usually female predominance, reflecting the sex ratio of RA; (iii) longstanding history of RA; (iv) relatively frequent advanced stage of disease; (v) majority of the patients had the B-cell phenotype; and (vi) an increased frequency of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) in RA. It is unlikely that EBV is the causative agent of either reactive or atypical LPD. Among malignant lymphomas, EBV-associated lymphoma comprised only a small fraction of all NHLs in the general RA patient population.
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    ABSTRACT: Lymph node enlargement is common in active systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), a disease that is characterized by well-defined clinical criteria. Histologically, although lymphadenopathy associated with SLE exhibits marked histological diversity and occasionally shows atypical lymphoproliferative disorders, there has not been any description of the histopathological features of reactive lymph node hyperplasia with giant follicles (RHGF). We here report three such cases. The subjects were a 23-year-old Japanese female, a 44-year-old Japanese female and a 49-year-old Japanese male. All three patients initially presented with systemic lymphadenopathy. They also had systemic symptoms and abnormal laboratory findings indicating active disease, although two patients did not fulfill the diagnostic criteria for SLE at lymph node biopsy. Histologically, three lesions were characterized by numerous enlarged, coalescing lymphoid follicles with distortion rather than effacement of the lymph node architecture. By in situ hybridization, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) genomes were demonstrated in two cases. The present three cases indicate that lymphadenopathy associated with SLE representing RFGH should be differentiated from the early stage of HIV-related lymphadenopathy as well as follicular lymphoma, particularly the floral variant. The authors would like to stress that the RHGF which is described in the present study should be listed in the pathohistology of SLE lymphadenopathy.
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    ABSTRACT: We conducted clinicopathologic and immunohistochemical analyses of the prevalence of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) among 24 patients with malignant lymphoma complicating systemic rheumatic diseases. (SRD) These 24 patients included 17 with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), 3 with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), 2 with systemic sclerosis (SS), and 2 with dermatomyositis (DM). There were 2 men and 22 women ranging in age from 30 to 86 years (mean: 64 years). The interval between the onset of rheumatic disease and that of malignant lymphomas ranged from 3 months to 35 years (mean: 142 months). The use of immunosuppressive drugs before the onset of malignant lymphoma was recorded in 15 patients. Among them, 5 patients received methotrexate (MTX) therapy. Malignant lymphomas were found at extranodal sites in 9 patients, and the disease was in the advanced stage in 17 patients. Histologic and immunohistochemical studies demonstrated that 18 cases (75%) were B-cell lymphoma (RA=12, SLE=2, SS=2, DM=2), 3 (12.5%) were peripheral T-cell lymphoma (RA=3), and 3 (12.5%) were classical Hodgkin lymphoma (RA=2, SLE=1). As in previous reports, there was an increased frequency of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (50%) in the present series. Moreover, a majority of the diffuse large B-cell lymphomas exhibited activated B-cell phenotype. EBV-encoded small RNAs (Epstein-Barr early region [EBER]-) and/or LMP-1+tumor cells were identified in only 3 cases of classical Hodgkin lymphomas. Our findings suggested EBV-associated lymphoma comprised only a small fraction of all non-Hodgkin's lymphomas in the general SRD patient population.
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