Hepatosplenic αβ T-cell lyrnphomas: A report of 14 cases and comparison with hepatosplenic γδ T-cell lymphomas

William R. Macon, Norman B. Levy, Paul J. Kurtin, Kevin E. Salhany, Mohamed Y. Elkhalifa, Terence T. Casey, Fiona E. Craig, Cindy L. Vnencak-Jones, Margaret L. Gulley, Jonathan P. Park, John B. Cousar

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162 Scopus citations


Hepatosplenic -γδ T-cell lymphoma is a distinct entity, characterized by occurrence in young adult males with hepatosplenomegaly, B-symptoms, peripheral blood cytopenias, and no lymphadenopathy; lymphomatous infiltrates in the splenic red pulp, hepatic sinusoids, and bone marrow sinuses; T-cell receptor (TCR) γδ chains and a cytotoxic T-cell phenotype; isochromosome 7q; and an aggressive clinical course. In comparison, this study describes the clinicopathologic features of 14 hepatosplenic T-cell lymphomas expressing TCR αβ chains. They occurred in 11 women and 3 men with a median age of 36 years. Clinical presentation was similar to that described previously for hepatosplenic γδ5 T-cell lymphomas, except for the female preponderance and age distribution (5 patients younger than 13 years of age and 5 patients older than 50 years of age). Disease distribution was primarily in the splenic red pulp and hepatic sinusoids, although liver infiltrates were largely periportal in four cases. Bone marrow involvement, observed in eight patients, was usually interstitial and/or within the sinuses. Lymph nodes were involved in five patients, although lymphadenopathy was demonstrable in only two. Ten cases were composed of intermediate-size tumor cells with round/oval nuclei, slightly dispersed chromatin, inconspicuous nucleoli, and scant to moderate amounts of cytoplasm. Four lymphomas contained primarily large cells with irregular nuclei, dispersed chromatin, discernible nucleoli, and moderate to abundant cytoplasm. Tumor cells in all 14 lymphomas were cytotoxic αβ T-cells; 13 co-expressed natural killer cell-associated antigens and showed T-cell clonality. Three lymphomas were associated with Epstein-Barr virus. Two of four cases had an isochromosome 7q. Eleven patients are dead, eight within a year of diagnosis, and two patients have maintained complete remissions after combination chemotherapy. These data show that hepatosplenic T-cell lymphomas include an (αβ-subtype. This group, along with the previously recognized γδ group, should be recognized as phenotypically heterogeneous subtypes of the same disease entity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-296
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgical Pathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 6 2001


  • Alpha-beta T-cells
  • CD56
  • CD57
  • Cytotoxic T-cells
  • Hepatosplenic lymphoma
  • Isochromosome 7q
  • T-cell lymphoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Surgery
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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    Macon, W. R., Levy, N. B., Kurtin, P. J., Salhany, K. E., Elkhalifa, M. Y., Casey, T. T., Craig, F. E., Vnencak-Jones, C. L., Gulley, M. L., Park, J. P., & Cousar, J. B. (2001). Hepatosplenic αβ T-cell lyrnphomas: A report of 14 cases and comparison with hepatosplenic γδ T-cell lymphomas. American Journal of Surgical Pathology, 25(3), 285-296. https://doi.org/10.1097/00000478-200103000-00002