Diverse clinicopathologic features in human herpesvirus 8-associated lymphomas lead to diagnostic problems

Elizabeth L. Courville, Aliyah R. Sohani, Robert P. Hasserjian, Lawrence R. Zukerberg, Nancy L. Harris, Judith A. Ferry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Objectives: Human herpesvirus 8 (HHV8)-associated lymphomas are uncommon, mainly affect men infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and usually have a poor prognosis. We sought to characterize the HHV8+ lymphomas seen at our institution since the mid-1990s. Methods: We identified 15 patients with HHV8-associated lymphomas and evaluated their clinical and pathologic features. Results: Diagnoses included primary effusion lymphoma (PEL) (n = 2), extracavitary PEL (n = 8), intravascular large B-cell lymphoma (n = 1), HHV8+ plasmablastic microlymphoma (n = 3), and germinotropic lymphoproliferative disorder (GLD) (n = 1). The case of GLD progressed to a high-grade HHV8+ Epstein-Barr virus-positive lymphoma, an evolution that has not been previously reported. Four patients were HIV- (three from an HHV8-endemic area). Potentially misleading pathologic features in our series of extracavitary PEL included classic Hodgkin lymphoma-like features, lymph node sinus involvement, and T-cell antigen expression. Conclusions: HHV8-associated lymphomas can be clinically and pathologically heterogeneous, with features that may lead to misdiagnosis as other types of lymphoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)816-829
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican journal of clinical pathology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© American Society for Clinical Pathology.


  • Extracavitary primary effusion lymphoma
  • Germinotropic lymphoproliferative disorder
  • HHV8 lymphoma
  • Human herpesvirus 8
  • Multicentric castleman disease
  • Plasmablastic microlymphoma
  • Primary effusion lymphoma


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