Plasmablastic lymphoma: A review

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Plasmablastic lymphoma (PBL) has been recently characterised as an aggressive subtype of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, most frequently arising in the oral cavity of HIV-infected patients. To date, approximately 60 cases fulfilling the clinico-pathological characteristics of PBL have been reported. PBLs are composed of large cells with eccentrically located nuclei and deeply basophilic cytoplasm with a paranuclear hof. The tumour cells are invariably immunoreactive for the plasma cell marker CD138, and show monoclonal rearrangement of the immunoglobulin heavy chain gene (IgH) and/or clonal restriction of the Ig light chain (IgL) gene expression in most of the cases. Similar to other types of AIDS-related lymphomas, there is evidence that Epstein-Barr virus and Kaposi-sarcoma associated Human Herpes Virus 8 may play a relevant role in the pathogenesis of PBL. PBL patients have been treated heterogeneously, with a combination of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and/or surgery, and their prognosis is usually poor, with a death rate of approximately 60% at 1 year.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-45
Number of pages8
JournalOral Diseases
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009


  • HIV infection
  • Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
  • Oral cavity
  • Plasma cells
  • Plasmablastic lymphoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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