The diagnosis of angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma (AITL) is complex and requires the demonstration of a T-follicular helper (TFH) phenotype. Immunophenotypic markers that detect the TFH phenotype are highly variable, thereby necessitating the use of 3 to 5 TFH markers to substantiate a TFH phenotype. We tested the utility of germinal center markers human germinal center-Associated lymphoma (HGAL) and LIM-domain only 2 (LMO2) in detecting a TFH phenotype. We compared their staining to that of 6 TFH markers in current use, PD-1, ICOS, CXCL13, SAP, CD10, and BCL6, in a cohort of 23 AITL. Our results show that although both markers can detect a TFH phenotype, HGAL was superior to LMO2 in the percent of cells stained and the intensity of staining, 2 variables used to generate H-scores. Using H-scores as the metric, HGAL was most comparable to BCL6 among the currently used TFH markers and was more sensitive than CXCL13, SAP, CD10, and LMO2. PD-1 and ICOS emerged as the most robust of the 8 markers tested in this study in detecting a TFH phenotype. We conclude that HGAL is a reliable marker of TFH cells and can aid in the diagnosis of lymphomas of TFH derivation, particularly in the recognition of early patterns of AITL.
- angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma
- germinal center
- T-follicualr helper
- TFH phenotype
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine