Mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue-type lymphomas occurring in post- transplantation patients

Eric D. Hsi, T. P. Singleton, L. Swinnen, C. H. Dunphy, S. Alkan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


Post-transplantation lymphoproliferative disorders (PTLDs) are usually Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-associated B-cell lymphoproliferative disorders that vary in their morphologic spectrum. Extranodal marginal zone lymphomas of the mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue-type (MALT-type) have not been considered to be part of this spectrum. The authors encountered five such cases recently. The clinical, histopathologic, and immunophenotypic features are reported. There were three men and two women with a mean age of 51.2 years (range, 48-63 years). Two patients were cardiac transplant recipients, two patients were liver transplant recipients, and the remaining patient was a renal transplant patient. Sites of lymphoma were the stomach in three patients and the parotid gland in two patients. Mean time to the lymphoma was 84 months after transplantation. All patients had morphologic features of low-grade extranodal marginal zone lymphomas of the MALT-type, and Helicobacter pylori was present in all three gastric cases. All patients exhibited the B-cell immunophenotype and were negative for EBV by in situ hybridization. These lymphomas were treated with a variety of modalities, including reduction of immunosuppression, antibiotics, surgical resection, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. At last follow-up, one patient had developed signet ring adenocarcinoma at 27 months but had no evidence of PTLD, one patient relapsed at 17 months but is alive with stable disease at 24 months, and the remaining patients were alive without disease at 11, 12, and 14 months. Extranodal low-grade MALT-type lymphomas can occur in the post-transplantation setting and generally develop years after transplant. As seen in immunocompetent patients, EBV appears to play no role in the pathogenesis of these lymphomas. These lymphomas appear to have more in common with MALT-type lymphomas in nonimmunocompromised patients than conventional PTLDs, although they occur in 'at-risk' patients due to their immunosuppressive therapy. These lymphomas do not appear to be clinically aggressive. Recognition of MALT-type lymphomas in the post-transplantation setting as an indolent disease avoids unnecessary treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)100-106
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgical Pathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Lymphoma
  • Mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue
  • Transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Surgery
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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