Follicular lymphomas with plasmacytic differentiation include two subtypes

Division of Hematopathology, Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.
Modern Pathology (Impact Factor: 6.19). 10/2009; 23(1):71-9. DOI: 10.1038/modpathol.2009.146
Source: PubMed


Follicular lymphomas with plasmacytic differentiation were described more than two decades ago. However, the possibility that some of these reported cases are marginal zone lymphomas or composite lymphomas must be considered. In addition, it is also uncertain whether follicular lymphomas with plasmacytic differentiation have any unique cytogenetic or other features. Therefore, fluorescence immunophenotypic and interphase cytogenetic analysis of 14 well-characterized follicular lymphomas with plasmacytic differentiation was performed using a CD138 antibody to identify the plasma cells and with BCL2, BCL6, IGH@ and MALT1 break-apart probes and a chromosome 12 centromeric probe. CD10 was expressed in 12/14 cases, BCL6 in 12/12 cases and BCL2 in 12/14 cases. At least one cytogenetic abnormality was identified in 12/14 cases. The same abnormality was present in both the plasmacytic (CD138+) and non-plasmacytic (CD138-) component in all 10 evaluable cases. BCL2 rearrangements were present in seven cases (5 IGH@ rearranged, 1 IGH@-not rearranged, 1 IGH@-not evaluable), BCL6 rearrangement in two (1 also with BCL2/IGH@ rearrangement), +12 in 1, +MALT1 without +18 in 1, IGH@ rearrangement without other abnormalities in 1 and IGH@ rearranged or partially deleted in 1 case. No cases showed +BCL6 (3q27) or a MALT1 rearrangement. All six cases with an isolated BCL2 rearrangement had predominantly interfollicular plasmacytic cells whereas, 6/7 cases without the translocation had concentrations of intrafollicular or perifollicular plasmacytic cells (P<0.005), as did the case with BCL2 and BCL6 translocations. These results support the existence of bona fide follicular lymphomas with plasmacytic differentiation and support the clonal relationship of the neoplastic lymphoid and plasma cells in at least most of these cases. The differential distribution of the plasma cells, specifically in relation to the presence or absence of an isolated BCL2 rearrangement suggests that the latter cases may be distinctive, sharing some features with marginal zone lymphomas.

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