Author(s): Gaal K, Sun NC, Hernandez AM, Arber DA
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Abstract Sinonasal natural killer (NK)/T-cell lymphomas are common in Asia and areas of South and Central America but are rarely seen in the United States, where they have not been as well characterized. Fifteen cases diagnosed in Southern California were studied with respect to histologic features, immunophenotype, Epstein-Barr virus EBER in-situ hybridization (EBV EBER-ISH), and T-cell receptor gamma chain (TCR-gamma) gene rearrangement. Although ethnic background was available for only seven patients, six were of Asian or Hispanic descent with only one non-Hispanic white known. Twelve presented as sinonasal lesions, but three were limited to the oropharynx. Most cases (11 of 15) demonstrated both necrosis and an angiodestructive pattern. All cases demonstrated cytoplasmic CD3 positivity (15 of 15), and were positive for both TIA-1 and granzyme B (14 of 14). Perforin was positive in 5 of 14. CD56 was expressed in 10 of 15 and CD8 in 3 of 15. EBV EBER-ISH was positive in 14 of 14 and TCR-gamma gene rearrangement was detected in 1 of 14 cases. None (0 of 14) were positive for CD16 or CD57. Although CD16-positive histiocytes were abundant, double-label EBER-ISH/IHC failed to identify CD16 expression on EBV-positive tumor cells. Three cases with pleomorphic large cell morphology showed focal CD30 positivity, raising the differential diagnosis of anaplastic large cell lymphoma, but all were ALK-1-negative and otherwise similar to the other cases of NK/T-cell lymphoma. Sinonasal NK/T-cell lymphomas in the United States most often occur in ethnic groups from areas of reported high frequency (Asia, Central and South America), although less commonly than in endemic populations, and are otherwise similar phenotypically. A combined approach, including immunohistochemistry, EBV EBER-ISH, and TCR gene rearrangement studies, is most helpful to arrive at the correct diagnosis.
This article was published in Am J Surg Pathol
and referenced in Journal of Blood Disorders & Transfusion