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).Observations
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.Conclusion
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.