Differences in Epstein-Barr Virus Expression Between Primary and Secondary Cutaneous Angiocentric Lymphomas

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Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) has been demonstrated in angiocentric immunoproliferative lesions, suggesting that it could be a causative factor. We investigated for the presence of EBV in 12 primary and 2 secondary cutaneous angiocentric lymphomas (CALs).


In the 2 secondary CALs, strong reactivity for EBV RNAs and latent membrane protein 1 were detected on paraffin-embedded sections. In contrast, 10 of 12 primary CALs were completely negative for EBV RNAs and latent membrane protein 1. In 2 primary CALs, EBV RNAs and latent membrane protein 1 were detected in few tumor cells. In the group of primary CALs, 8 of 12 were still alive at last follow-up, 3 died of systemic lymphoma, and 1 died of another cause, whereas both patients with secondary CALs died of disease within 1 year.


Differences in the presence of EBV and clinical behavior between primary and secondary CALs suggest that different mechanisms are operative in the pathogenesis of these conditions, and indicate that the 2 groups should be considered separately.

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