B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas in Uganda: an immunohistochemical appraisal on tissue microarray

Lynnette K. Tumwine, Cristina Campidelli, Simona Righi, Sophia Neda, Wilson Byarugaba, Stefano A. Pileri

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The most common non-Hodgkin lymphomas in Uganda are neoplasms of B-cell derivation. The field of B-cell lymphoma immunophenotype has rapidly progressed because of the increasing availability of markers applicable to routine sections. Although the latter have allowed the identification of distinctive lymphoma entities in the developed countries, such approach has not yet been used in Uganda. One hundred twenty-nine formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue samples from the Department of Pathology of Makerere University were used for tissue micro-array (TMA) construction. Four-micrometer-thick sections were cut from TMAs and stained with hematoxylin and eosin and Giemsa. They were also used for immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization. According to morphology and immunohistochemistry, lymphoid neoplasms were classified as Burkitt's lymphoma (BL) (95 cases), diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (19 cases), mantle cell lymphoma (4 cases), and B-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma (1 case). In BL, a homogeneous phenotype (CD10+, Bcl-6+, Bcl-2-, MUM1/IRF4-, and Ki-67 ~100%) and a stable Epstein-Barr virus integration were found. A distinctive and unusual feature was the frequent plasma cellular differentiation, along with the positivity for CD30 and CD138 (recorded in 35 and 43 cases, respectively). According to our findings, most non-Hodgkin B-cell tumors in Uganda are endemic BLs followed by diffuse large B-cell lymphomas. The rest consist of rare but clinically important entities such as mantle cell lymphoma and B-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma. The availability of TMAs and immunohistochemistry has enabled us to precisely categorize tumors that have so far been diagnosed in Uganda as "high-grade/aggressive" lymphomas on the basis of cell morphology alone.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)817-823
Number of pages7
JournalHuman Pathology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2008


  • Burkitt lymphoma
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Phenotype
  • Tissue microarray
  • Uganda

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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