Adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma in Northeastern Brazil: A clinical, histopathologic, and molecular study

Helenemarie Schaer Barbosa, Achiléa Lisboa Bittencourt, Iguaracyra Barreto De Araújo, Carlos Sampaio Pereira Filho, Roberto Furlan, Célia Pedrosa, Gildete Lessa, William Harrington, Bernardo Galvão Castro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The state of Bahia in the northeastern coast of Brazil is a region in which HTLV-I infection is endemic. This study investigated the characteristics of 28 HTLV-I-associated lymphomas/leukemias in this region. HTLV-I-infection diagnosis was based on serologic study, Southern blot analysis, and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in neoplastic tissue. The main clinical differences between these lymphomas and adult T-cell leukemia (ATL) cases from other endemic areas were as follows. The mean age was 47 years; 20% of the cases occurred in young adults; and a predominance was found among male subjects (2:1), blacks, and of those of mixed race (96%). Histologically, 20 cases were T-cell pleomorphic leukemia/lymphoma, 5 were Mycosis fungoides-like cutaneous lymphoma, and 3 were CD30+ large-cell anaplastic lymphoma. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated 4 cases of CD8+ lymphoma. Proviral genomic sequences were demonstrated by PCR in 9 lymph node biopsy specimens and in 3 skin biopsy specimens. Southern blot was performed and was positive in 8 cases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-71
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes and Human Retrovirology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 1 1999


  • Adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma
  • HTLV-I-positive lymphoma
  • Pleomorphic lymphoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Virology


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