Clonal B-cell population in a reactive lymph node in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.
A 40-year-old female, HIV positive, stage C, since 4 years, complained of a right cervical lymph node swelling. Two years before, the patient had been diagnosed with follicular B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (FL); she had been treated with four cycles of multiagent chemotherapy plus rituximab, the last cycle being administered 10 months before coming to our attention. An ultrasound (US) guided fine-needle cytology (FNC) showed an atypical lymphoid cell proliferation. The phenotype evidenced by flow cytometry (FC) analysis was D5: 10%, CD19: 49%, CD23: 10%, FMC7: 0%, CD10: 40%, CD10/19: 40%, lambda light chain 40%, kappa light chain 0%. FDG-positron emission tomography (PET/CT) scan showed positivity in the corresponding cervical area. Since low LDH values and a reduced lymph node size were observed, the lymph node was therefore excised; the histology revealed a reactive hyperplastic lymph node with florid follicular pattern. A subsequent PCR analysis, performed on DNA extracted from a whole histological section, did not evidence IgH rearrangement. The patient is currently undergoing strict clinical and instrumental follow-up, including PET every 3 months; after 13 months, she is alive without recurrence of lymphoma. Clonal B-cell populations in non-lymphomatous processes have been described in mucosa-associated lymphoid cell populations and reactive lymph nodes, and are considered non-malignant, antigen driven, proliferations of B-lymphocytes determined by an abnormal response to bacterial or viral antigen stimulation. The present case occurred in an HIV patient and was clinically complex because of the patients history of FL. This experience suggests much attention in the evaluation of radiological, cytological, and FC data and in clinical correlation in patients suffering from autoimmune or immunodeficiency syndromes.