Angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma
|Angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma|
|Synonyms||immunoblastic lymphadenopathy (Lukes-Collins Classification), AILD-type (lymphogranulomatosis X) T-cell lymphoma (Kiel Classification)|
|Classification and external resources|
|Specialty||Hematology and oncology|
|ICD-10||C86.5 (ILDS C84.460)|
Angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma (AITL, sometimes misspelled AILT) (formerly known as "Angioimmunoblastic lymphadenopathy with dysproteinemia":747) is a mature T-cell lymphoma of blood or lymph vessel immunoblasts characterized by a polymorphous lymph node infiltrate showing a marked increase in follicular dendritic cells (FDCs) and high endothelial venules (HEVs) and systemic involvement.
Signs and symptoms
Patients with this disease usually present at an advanced stage and show systemic involvement. The clinical findings typically include a pruritic skin rash and possibly edema, ascites, pleural effusions, and arthritis.
Sites of involvement
This disease was originally thought to be a premalignant condition, termed angioimmunoblastic lymphadenopathy, and this atypical reactive lymphadenopathy carried a risk for transformation into a lymphoma. Currently, it is postulated that the originating cell for this disease is a mature (post-thymic) CD4+ T-cell that arises de novo, although some researchers argue that there is a premalignant subtype of this disease. The Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) is observed in the majority of cases, and the virus has been found in the reactive B-cells that comprise part of the polymorphous infiltrate of this disease and in the neoplastic T-cells. Immunodeficiency is also seen with this disease, but it is a sequela to the condition and not a predisposing factor.
The classical laboratory finding is polyclonal hypergammaglobulinemia, and other immunoglobulin derangements are also seen, including hemolytic anemia with cold agglutinins, circulating immune complexes, anti-smooth muscle antibodies, and positive rheumatoid factor.
The normal architecture of a lymph node is partially effaced by a polymorphous infiltrate and residual follicles are commonly seen. The polymorphous infiltrate consists of lymphocytes of moderate size with pale/clear cytoplasm and smaller reactive lymphocytes, eosinophils, histiocytes, plasma cells, and follicular dendritic cells. In addition, blast-like B-cells are occasionally seen. A classic morphological finding is the aborization and proliferation of high endothelial venules. Hyperplastic germinal centers and Reed-Sternberg-like cells can also be seen.
Clonal T-cell receptor gene rearrangements are detected in 75% of cases, and immunoglobin gene rearrangements are seen in 10% of cases, and these cases are believed to be due to expanded EBV-driven B-cell populations. Similarly, EBV-related sequences can be detected in most cases, usually in B-cells but occasionally in T-cells. Trisomy 3, trisomy 5, and +X are the most frequent chromosomal abnormalities found in AITL cases. 
There is no proven or standard first-line chemotherapy that works for the majority of AITL patients. There are several clinical trials that offer treatment options that can fight the disease. Stem cell transplantation is the treatment of choice, with the allogeneic one being the preference because AITL tends to recur after autologous transplants.
The typical patient with angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma (AITL) is either middle-aged or elderly, and no gender preference for this disease has been observed. AITL comprises 15–20% of peripheral T-cell lymphomas and 1–2% of all non-Hodgkin lymphomas.
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