Extracavitary/solid variant of primary effusion lymphoma

Yoonjung Kim, Vasiliki Leventaki, Feriyl Bhaijee, Courtney C. Jackson, L. Jeffrey Medeiros, Francisco Vega

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Primary effusion lymphoma (PEL) is a distinct clinicopathologic entity associated with human herpesvirus 8 (HHV8) infection that mostly affects patients with immunodeficiency. Primary effusion lymphoma usually presents as a malignant effusion involving the pleural, peritoneal, and/or pericardial cavities without a tumor mass. Rare cases of HHV8-positive lymphoma with features similar to PEL can present as tumor masses in the absence of cavity effusions and are considered to represent an extracavitary or solid variant of PEL. Here, we report 3 cases of extracavitary PEL arising in human immunodeficiency virus-infected men. Two patients had lymphadenopathy and underwent lymph node biopsy. One patient had a mass involving the ileum and ascending colon. In lymph nodes, the tumor was predominantly sinusoidal. The tumor involving the ileum and ascending colon presented as 2 masses, 12.5 × 10.6 × 2.6 cm in the colon and 3.6 × 2.7 × 1.9 cm in the ileum. In each case, the neoplasms were composed of large anaplastic cells, and 2 cases had hallmark cells. Immunohistochemistry showed that all cases were positive for HHV8 and CD138. One case also expressed CD4 and CD30, and 1 case was positive for Epstein-Barr virus-encoded RNA. Evidence of B-cell differentiation was poorly developed in all tumors. These cases highlight the importance of assessing HHV8 in an anaplastic tumor that arises in a human immunodeficiency virus-positive patient and further contributes to the limited literature currently available for extracavitary PEL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)441-446
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Diagnostic Pathology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Anaplastic large cell lymphoma
  • HIV
  • Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (HHV8)
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Plasmablastic lymphoma
  • Primary effusion lymphoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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