A 58-year-old man was admitted with generalized lymphadenopathy. On admission, the patient showed polyclonal hypergammopathy in a blood examination, positive results in the direct/indirect Coombs test, and an elevated cold agglutinin titer. Autoimmune thrombocytopenia with a high level of platelet-associated immunoglobulin G complicated the patient’s condition. An enzyme immunoassay kit for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) recombinant proteins p24, gp41, and gp36 showed positive results.Western blot analysis showed the presence of antibodies cross-reacting with HIV p24 gag protein. HIV RNA was not detected by means of a reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction assay, so the patient was not an HIV carrier. Angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma (AILT) was diagnosed on the basis of lymph node biopsy specimens.We speculated that in this case some of the numerous subtypes of polyclonal gamma globulin had coincidentally cross-reacted with HIV p24. Cross-reactive phenomena with HIV in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus have been well investigated, but to our knowledge our patient is the first case of such cross-reactivity involving AILT. Physicians should pay close attention to serologic tests to determine whether the patient truly is a viral carrier. Int J Hematol. 2003;78:160-162.
Angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma Human immunodeficiency virus HIV p24 gag protein
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