Clinical and Histoimmunophenotypic Findings and Association with Epstein—Barr Virus in 16 Cases

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Waldeyer's ring is an uncommon, rarely reported primary site for Hodgkin's disease. We report a series of 16 such cases clled from the files of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology and the National Cancer Institute. The patients' median age was 41 years (range, 14–74), and they presented with airway obstruction or unilateral tonsillar enlargement. The disease was localized to the Waldeyer's ring (stage I) in 46% of patients and extended to the cervival lymph nodes (stage II) in 39% and to the spleen (stage III) in 15%. Local radiation therapy, with or without chemotherapy, obtained a complete response in all but two patients. There was local recurrence in one patient and distant spread in three others. All patients for whom follow-up is available are alive without evidence of disease at 9 to 216 months (median, 20 months) except two who died of widespread Hodgkin's disease and two others who died of other causes. Histologically, eight cases were classified as mixed cellularity type (50%), four as nodular sclerosis (25%), and one as ymphocyte predominance, nodular (LPn; 6.3%): three others that showed interfollicular involvement were unclassified (18.7%). The Reed—Sternberg (RS) and atypical mononuclear cells in most cases of mixed cellularity and interfolicular types and all cases of nodular sclerosis had the classic immunophenotype (CD45-. CD20-and/or CD45ROO-. CD15+and/or CD30+). In the single case of LPn. they were of B-cell lincage (CD45+. CD20+. CD45RO-, CD15-. CD30-). In situ hybridization performed on routinely processed sections revealed Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) EBERIO mRNA in RS cells of eight of 12 cases studied (67%) only in mixed cellularity and nodular sclerosis, but not in LPn. We conclude that, however rarely. Hodgkin's disease of typical morphology and immunophenotype can originate in Waldeyer's ring. The incidence of EBV detection in the RS cells in our study is greater than that usually seen in nodal Hodgkin's disease in the United States. The greater pre valence of EBV-related Hodgkin's disease at this site is probably a reflection of the fact that the Waldeyer's ring is a reservoir for EBV.

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