Abstract

Angioimmunoblastic T cell lymphoma (AITL) is a peripheral T cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma with an aggressive fatal course and it has varied clinical presentation with an uncommon presentation when they present as soft tissue masses or when there is spill in the peripheral blood or there are composite lymphomas that are rare presentations. Common presentations include lymphadenopathy, fever and systemic symptoms, hemolytic anemias, skin rashes, and rheumatoid arthritis. The classical histopathology is absence of follicles in lymph nodes with presence of high endothelial venules and the tumor cells of small to medium-sized lymphocytes with pale cytoplasm mixed with reactive T cells. On immunohistochemistry, the cells are positive for CD3, CD4, CD10, BCL2, and CXCL13. In this observational study, the clinicopathologic presentation and the immunohistochemical profile of five cases who initially presented with a soft tissue mass which is an extremely rare presentation of this rare type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that was diagnosed at our center with peripheral blood and bone marrow involvement and the clinicopathologic presentation, immunohistochemical profile, and response to treatment on follow-up are correlated with the literature review. One case had a fulminant and aggressive course and was fatal within 2months of diagnosis. The rest of the four cases are on regular chemotherapy and follow-up. Our five cases had presented with soft tissue masses, two in the axillary regio,n two in the hand, and one in the scapular region with an extranodal presentation, and there was associated lymphadenopathy which developed subsequently with classic histomorphology and immunohistochemical findings. The age range was 46-54years and all five cases were males. Three cases were with anemia (hemoglobin range 6.5-8.0mg/dl) and all five cases were having peripheral blood plasmacytosis. Histopathology was classic with paracortical involvement with polymorphous population of cells with neoplastic lymphocytes of small and large sizes with numerous arborizing blood vessels which correspond to high endothelial venules. Microscopically, three architectural patterns; pattern I was seen in three cases (60%) and then pattern II and III in one case each (20% each). Immunohistochemistry revealed CD4+, CD8-, CXCL13+, CD10+, BCL6+, CD19, CD20, CD1a, Tdt, CD21, and CD23+ in follicular dendritic cells. AITL is a rare and aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma with varied clinical presentation with classic histomorphology with various patterns which may cause diagnostic dilemma and immunophenotypic findings, and prompt and early diagnosis is mandatory for institution of therapy.

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