Primary effusion lymphoma containing human herpesvirus 8 DNA in two AIDS patients with Kaposi's sarcoma

Valeria Ascoli, Claudio Maria Mastroianni, Vincenzo Galati, Maria Caterina Sirianni, Alberto Fruscalzo, Alessandra Pistilli, Francesco Lo Coco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and Objective. Primary effusion lymphomas (PELs) containing Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (human herpesvirus 8/HHV-8) DNA sequences represent a distinct but heterogeneous group of rare non-Hodgkin's lymphomas of null-call phenotype/B-cell origin. We aimed to describe the clinicopathologic features of two human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-related PELs occurring in homosexual men with Kaposi's sarcoma (KS). Design and Methods. Thoracentesis was followed by morphologic plus immunophenotypic studies and molecular analysis of tumor cell DNA by means of combination of polymerase chain reaction and Southern blot analysis. Results. Patients developed recurrent lymphomatous effusions lacking tissue involvement, in the context of severe immunodepression (CD4 count <60/μL) and anti-retroviral therapy. The effusions disclosed an immunoblast-like population CD45/CD30+, but B-cell- and T-cell-associated antigen negative, showing clonal immunoglobulin heavy chain gene rearrangements and harbouring HHV-8 DNA sequences. One case contained Epstein-Barr virus genome with no evidence of c-myc, bcl-2 and bcl-6 gene alterations. Both patients had aggressive disease. Interpretations and Conclusions. These cases represent additional examples of PEL associated with HHV-8 and confirm that the group of HIV- positive homosexual men may be at highest risk for PEL.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-12
Number of pages5
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1998


  • Body-cavity-based-lymphoma
  • Effusion
  • Epstein- Barr virus
  • Human herpesvirus-8
  • Kaposi's sarcoma- associated herpesvirus
  • Pleural cavity
  • Primary effusion lymphoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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