Epstein-Barr Virus-negative Marginal Zone Lymphoma as an Uncommon Form of Monomorphic Posttransplant Lymphoproliferative Disorder

Pallavi Galera, Richard Flavin, Natasha M. Savage, Annapurna Saksena, Shunyou Gong, Huan You Wang, Niall Swan, Liqiang Xi, Mark Raffeld, Stefania Pittaluga, Elaine S. Jaffe*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Monomorphic posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorders have been defined as lymphoid or plasmacytic proliferations that fulfill criteria for one of the B-cell or T/NK-cell neoplasms recognized in immunocompetent hosts in the current WHO Classification. Low-grade B-cell neoplasms have historically been excluded from this category, although rare reports of marginal zone lymphoma (MZL) have been described. We report 9 cases of posttransplant Epstein-Barr virus-negative MZL, all arising in solid organ transplant recipients (4 renal, 3 liver, 1 cardiac, and 1 liver, pancreas, and small bowel). Seven were extranodal MZL of mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue type, all of which had gastrointestinal involvement (4 colon, 1 duodenum, 1 stomach, and 1 oropharynx/base of tongue). Notably, the preferential involvement of intestine distinguishes posttransplant extranodal MZL from sporadic cases. Immunoglobulin light-chain restriction was seen in all cases, with polymerase chain reaction showing a monoclonal pattern in 7 of 8 cases with successful amplification of polymerase chain reaction products. A clonally unrelated recurrence was seen in one case. Next-generation sequencing identified recurrent mutations previously reported in MZL in 3/5 cases. MZL was diagnosed at least 1 year after solid organ transplant (median time to presentation, 84 mo; range, 13 to 108 mo). The median age was 44 (range, 9 to 73 y); the male: female ratio was 5:4. The mean follow-up was 33.4 months, with an indolent clinical course observed. A subset responded to reduction in immunosuppression and anti-CD20 therapy alone. These data support the designation of Epstein-Barr virus-negative MZL as an uncommon form of monomorphic posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1340-1352
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgical Pathology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020


  • MALT lymphoma
  • PTLD
  • gastrointestinal tract
  • iatrogenic
  • immune suppression
  • marginal zone lymphoma
  • next-generation sequencing
  • posttransplant lymphoproliferative disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Surgery
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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