The lymphoproliferative processes that developed in five renal transplant recipients were studied in an attempt to characterize and classify them morphologically. Nine surgical specimens, hematological material on all patients, and autopsy specimens from three patients were available. Studies performed included: conventional histopathology; evaluation of cell markers (immunoglobulins and sheep erythrocyte, complement, and Fc receptors) and cytoplasmic immunoglobulins (peroxidase-antiperoxidase technique); ultrastructural examination; and karyotype analysis. The lymphoid lesions in our patients shared marked cytological polymorphism (small and large cells, of both follicular center and “medullary” type) and polyclonal B-cell features, which indicated a common reactive nonneoplastic origin. However, other features, such as morphological atypia of the im-munoblasts, extensive necrosis, chromosomal aberrations, and an incipient monoclonal component suggested the development of lymphoma in some of these lesions. In contradistinction, the abundance of typical immunoblasts was a feature that seemed to correlate with the clinical activity of the disease rather than with the biological malignancy. The multiplicity of B-cell types and the presence of a follicular center cell component with diffuse distribution, as well as the extensive necrosis in the malignant forms, seem to differentiate morphologically the lymphoproliferative processes arising in transplant recipients from both the hyperplasias and the lymphomas developing in immunologically normal hosts. For the former, we propose the terms of “polymorphic diffuse B-cell hyperplasias” and “polymorphic B-cell lymphomas.”.
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|Published - Nov 1 1981