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A clinicopathological study of nodal marginal zone B-cell lymphoma. A report on 21 cases


Professeur F Berger, Service d'Anatomie Pathologique, Centre Hospitalier Lyon Sud, 69495 Pierre Bénite Cedex, France. e-mail:


Aims : To report the clinicopathological findings of 21 cases of primary nodal marginal zone B-cell lymphoma (NMZL). NMZL is a recently characterized lymphoma and few series have been published.

Methods and results : The clinical data were characteristic of a disseminated disease at presentation: presence of peripheral and abdominal lymph nodes, bone marrow involvement (62%), disease stage III and IV (76%), elevated lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) (48%). Other features included peripheral blood involvement (23%), anaemia (24%), thrombocytopenia (10%) and presence of serum M component (33%), while the previously reported association with hepatitis C virus and cryoglobulinaemia was not found. Relapses were frequent but the majority of patients receiving chemotherapy had a good initial response. Morphological features were heterogeneous and there were some differences compared with other marginal zone B-cell lymphomas (MZL). Pure monocytoid B-cell lymphomas were rare (10%) but a minor component of monocytoid B cell was observed more frequently (23%). Plasmacytoid or plasmacytic differentiation was a very common feature (61%). Large cells and a high mitotic count were also frequent (57%).

Conclusion : NMZL can be distinguished from splenic MZL and extranodal MZL by its aggressive morphology and disseminated disease at presentation.