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An Official Publication of the Indian Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathologists

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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 202-203

Transforming B cell lymphoma: A diagnostic dilemma

1 Department of Oral Pathology, MM College of Dental Sciences and Research, Ambala, Haryana, India
2 Department of Oral Pathology, Yamuna College of Dental Sciences and Research, Yamuna Nagar, Haryana, India

Date of Submission09-Apr-2020
Date of Acceptance23-May-2020
Date of Web Publication09-Sep-2020

Correspondence Address:
Asha Karadwal
D/O Sh Jaipal, # 984 Sector 17 Huda, Jagadhri - 135 003, Haryana
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jomfp.JOMFP_143_20

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How to cite this article:
Karadwal A, Chatterjee S. Transforming B cell lymphoma: A diagnostic dilemma. J Oral Maxillofac Pathol 2020;24:202-3

How to cite this URL:
Karadwal A, Chatterjee S. Transforming B cell lymphoma: A diagnostic dilemma. J Oral Maxillofac Pathol [serial online] 2020 [cited 2021 Jul 25];24:202-3. Available from: https://www.jomfp.in/text.asp?2020/24/2/202/294607

We came across a case where the same patient reported at two different institutes. He underwent biopsies at both institutes and where histopathology and immunohistochemistry profile of the patient showed wide variations reflecting a change in biological and morphological type of the same lesion.

Karadwal et al. in their microscopic examination revealed the presence of parakeratinized stratified squamous epithelium with underlying cellular connective tissue stroma.[1] Connective tissue showed the presence of malignant cells resembling small and large lymphocytes arranged in the form of sheets.[1] The large tumor cells exhibited large, pleomorphic nucleus with hyperchromatic and coarse chromatin.[1] Few cells had prominent, multiple eosinophilic nucleoli.[1] Some large round cells with centrally placed large vesicular nucleus were also seen. These cells were surrounded by a clear halo and exhibited a very lightly stained cytoplasm.[1] Immature large cells with cleaved nucleus were present.[1] Numerous abnormal mitotic figures that were 1–4 per high-power field and, in some areas, large binucleated cells with pale cytoplasm and prominent nucleoli were seen.[1] Numerous smaller cells with dark hyperchromatic nuclei and minimal cytoplasm resembling small lymphocytes were also seen.[1] These cells were at least double the size of small lymphocytes. Numerous endothelial lined blood vessels were seen along with hyalinized collagen fibers.[1]

Histopathology under hematoxylin and eosin staining was consistent with histopathological features of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, which was further confirmed by the primary immunohistochemical examination.[1] Immunohistochemistry showed that the lymphoid cells were immunopositive for CD20/PAX5 and were immunonegative for CD30/Bcl6.[1] The Ki-67 proliferative index is approximately 30%.[1] The histopathological features together with immunohistochemical profile led to the diagnosis of “diffused B-Cell lymphoma, mixed small and large cell type.”[1]

Mittal et al. in their histopathology reported the lesion to be composed of dysplastic parakeratinized stratified squamous epithelium overlying connective tissue stroma with indistinct basement membrane at few places with infiltrating epithelial cells.[2] The connective tissue stroma was highly cellular in nature.[2] There were diffuse proliferations of large atypical lymphoid cells showing dysplastic features such as nuclear and cellular pleomorphism, nuclear hyperchromatism, increased number of nucleoli and abnormal mitotic figures.[2] Some areas showed invasion of neurovascular bundles. Cells were highly anaplastic.[2] Multinucleated giant cells are also seen.[2] The above-mentioned findings favored the diagnosis of “follicular lymphoma transforming into anaplastic B-cell lymphoma.”[2]

Following this, immunohistochemical analysis was done for the expression of pan B-cell markers CD20, CD3, bcl-2, CD5, CD10 and Ki67.[2] CD20 and bcl-2 were positive in medium and large lymphoid cells in follicle and diffuse patterns.[2] CD3 and CD5 were positive in few scattered lymphocytes.[2] CD10 was positive in few focal areas and Ki67 was positive in 30% area.[2] Based on immunohistochemical report, the lesion was diagnosed as diffuse large b-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) anaplastic variant (70%) and follicular lymphoma, Grade 3A (30%).[2]

In the previous reported cases, the most common histopathology identified in follow-up biopsies of patients with follicular lymphoma (FL) is diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.[3] It has been concluded that FL can transform into DLBCL or less commonly to the intermediate gray-zone category of unclassifiable B cell lymphoma.[4] Increase in the probability of transformation over time and its occurrence in FL patients suggest that the change of FL to a more aggressive histopathology which may be associated with a more aggressive clinical behavior as evident by increase in numbers of mitotic figures in our case.[4]


“Guidance in the proper direction is necessity for any form of success in life.”

I express my sincere thanks to Dr. Shailja Chatterjee, Professor, Head of the Department, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, MMCDSR, Mullana, Ambala, for her constant inspiration, assiduous guidance rendered during the case and words of wisdom. I also want to thank the almighty as he not only guided my directions, also overruled my mistakes. He gave me wisdom to understand and grow in better ways.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

   References Top

Karadwal A, Chatterjee S, Pathak K, Sabharwal R. Diffused mixed B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma of mandible. J Oral Maxillofac Pathol 2020;24:S77-S81.  Back to cited text no. 1
Mittal M, Puri A, Nangia R, Sachdeva A. Follicular lymphoma transforming into anaplastic diffuse large B-cell lymphoma of oral cavity: A case report with review of literature. J Oral Maxillofac Pathol 2015;19:379-84.  Back to cited text no. 2
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
Lossos IS, Gascoyne RD. Transformation of follicular lymphoma. Best Pract Res Clin Haematol 2011;24:147-63.  Back to cited text no. 3
Tomonaga M. Outline and direction of revised WHO classification of Tumors of Haematopoietic and Lymphoid Tissues. Rinsho Ketsueki 2009;50:1401-6.  Back to cited text no. 4


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