Immunoglobulin and T-cell receptor gene-gene rearrangement in pleural cavity-based T-cell rich B-cell lymphoma in an immunocompetent patient

Anil Potti, Azhar Ali Malik, Apar Kishor Ganti, Michael Koch, John Leitch

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5 Scopus citations


Body cavity-based lymphomas are fluid-based lymphomas that are not associated with a tumor mass or adenopathy which could explain the origin of the lymphomatous effusion. A distinct lymphoma that grows in the body cavity as a lymphomatous effusion in the absence of a tumor mass has been identified as a primary effusion lymphoma. This almost exclusively occurs in patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), who invariably have a history of Kaposi sarcoma. We report a rare case of a recurrent pleural effusion in an immunocompetent patient. There was no evidence of lymphadenopathy or an associated mass on computerized tomography of the chest, abdomen and pelvis. Serology for HIV, HHS-8, EBV and HTLV-1 were negative. Cytologic examination of the pleural fluid showed an elevated white cell count with 97% lymphocytes, mostly with T-cell markers. Bone marrow aspirate and biopsy were negative and bronchoscopy was unrevealing. Pleural biopsy was significant for >70% T-lymphocytes and some large atypical cells. Which had CD19, CD20 and weak bcl-2 positivity. Kappa and lambda light chains did not show distinct clonality. A preliminary diagnosis of T-cell rich B-cell lymphoma (TCRBCL) of the pleural cavity was made. The diagnosis was confirmed with DNA studies done on the pleural biopsy specimen using PCR and southern blot. Dual rearrangement of Ig heavy chain region and TCR-beta genes were identified. The patient responded to combination chemotherapy with cyclophosphamide, adriamycin, vincristine and prednisone. Our case is the first known case of pleural cavity-based TCRBCL and illustrates the role of gene rearrangement studies in such patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-198
Number of pages4
JournalLeukemia and Lymphoma
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002



  • Ig rearrangement
  • Pleural cavity lymphoma
  • T-cell rich B-cell lymphoma
  • TCR rearrangement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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