AIDS-related lymphomas: From pathogenesis to pathology

Antonino Carbone, Annunziata Gloghini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-associated lymphomas include: (1) lymphomas also occurring, although sporadically, in the absence of HIV infection. The vast majority of these lymphomas are high-grade B-cell lymphomas: Burkitt lymphoma (BL), diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) with centroblastic (CB) features and DLBCL with immunoblastic (IBL) features; (2) unusual lymphomas occurring more specifically in HIV-positive patients and include two rare entities, namely 'primary effusion lymphoma' (PEL) and 'plasmablastic lymphoma' of the oral cavity. The pathological heterogeneity of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome-associated non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (AIDS-NHL) reflects the heterogeneity of their associated molecular lesions. In AIDS-BL, the molecular lesions involve activation of cMYC, inactivation of P53, and infection with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). AIDS-IBL infected with EBV are characterised by frequent expression of latent membrane protein 1 - an EBV oncoprotein. The biological heterogeneity of AIDS-NHL is highlighted by their histogenetic differences. Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus/human herpesvirus 8 (KSHV/HHV8)-associated lymphomas, which often develop in persons with advanced AIDS, present predominantly as PEL. KSHV/HHV8 has also been recently detected in solid extracavitary-based lymphomas. The KSHV/HHV8-associated solid lymphomas are (1) unusual lymphomas that occur more specifically in HIV-positive patients; (2) extracavitary and arise in nodal and/or extranodal sites; and (3) histologically, they usually display a PEL-like morphology and plasma cell-related phenotype.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)662-670
Number of pages9
JournalBritish Journal of Haematology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2005


  • AIDS-related lymphomas
  • HIV-associated lymphomas
  • KSHV/HHV8-associated lymphomas
  • Pathology
  • Primary effusion lymphoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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