, Volume 189, Issue 6, pp 461-466

Primary MALT-type Lymphoma of the Thymus: A Clinicopathological and Immunohistochemical Study of Six Cases

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Abstract

Background

Six cases of primary extranodal marginal zone B-cell lymphoma of the thymus (MALT [mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue]) are described.

Methods

The patients were all women between 48 and 59 years. Clinically, all patients, except for one, were Caucasians. Two patients had a history of autoimmune disease, while one was being investigated for such a possibility. The remaining three patients did not have a history of autoimmune disorders.

Results

In those patients who had symptoms related to their anterior mediastinal masses, nonspecific symptoms, including shortness of breath and chest pain, predominated. Histologically, the tumors had the classical morphologic features of cystic and solid areas with an atypical monocytoid cellular proliferation. Immunohistochemical stains performed in all cases showed kappa monotypic expression and B-cell phenotype.

Conclusions

The current cases highlight that MALT lymphomas of the thymus can occur in a setting not related to autoimmune disease or in those not of Oriental ethnic background and that mediastinal cystic lesions require proper sampling in order to adequately evaluate the possibility of MALT lymphoma.