Enzyme- and immunohistochemical study of a case of histiocytic necrotizing lymphadenitis

Antonino Carbone, Riccardo Manconi, Rachele Volpe, Alessandro Poletti, Paolo de Paoli, Umberto Tirelli

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A combined morphological, immunohistological, and enzyme histochemical analysis was performed on frozen and fixed lymph node tissue in a case of histiocytic necrotizing lymphadenitis (HNL) using conventional histology, a panel of monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies, and a series of common haematological enzyme reactions. Histology showed multiple paracortical necrotizing foci which, in a prominently necrobiotic background devoid of granulocytes, contained large numbers of foamy histiocytes and macrophages intermingled with cells resembling degenerating plasmacytoid T-cells. Most of the histiocytes were alpha1-antichymotrypsin positive and foamy cells were also distinctly Leu-M1 positive. Strong granular acid phosphatase (AP) positivity was present in the cytoplasm of the macrophages and histiocytes. The cells with plasmacytoid features showed weaker and homogeneously diffuse AP staining. Alpha-naphthyl acetate esterase (ANAE) activity was much less striking than AP in the necrotizing foci and most of the ANAE negative cells corresponded to those with plasmacytoid features. No cells with B-cell lineage markers were present within the necrotizing foci; most of the occasional T-cells (Leu-1+, Leu-4+) present in the foci were Leu-2a+ (OKT8+) whereas OKT10+ lymphoid cells were abundant and appeared to correspond with the cells with plasmacytoid features. Our combined data confirm that the special type of necrosis found in HNL develops within foci of plasmacytoid T-cells undergoing regressive changes and apparently exhibiting distinct immunohistological and enzyme histochemical features.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)637-647
Number of pages11
JournalVirchows Archiv A Pathological Anatomy and Histopathology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1986


  • Enzyme histochemistry
  • Histiocytic necrotizing lymphadenitis
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Lymph node
  • Lymphadenitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Anatomy


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