Human herpesvirus 8-negative effusion-based large B-cell lymphoma: a distinct entity with unique clinicopathologic characteristics

Savanah D. Gisriel, Ji Yuan, Ryan C. Braunberger, Danielle L.V. Maracaja, Xueyan Chen, Xiaojun Wu, Jenna McCracken, Mingyi Chen, Yi Xie, Laura E. Brown, Peng Li, Yi Zhou, Tarsheen Sethi, Austin McHenry, Ronald G. Hauser, Nathan Paulson, Haiming Tang, Eric D. Hsi, Endi Wang, Qian Yun ZhangKen H. Young, Mina L. Xu, Zenggang Pan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Rare cases of human herpesvirus 8 (HHV8)-negative effusion-based large B-cell lymphoma (EB-LBCL) occur in body cavities without antecedent or concurrent solid mass formation. In contrast to HHV8 + primary effusion lymphoma (PEL), EB-LBCL has no known association with HIV or HHV8 infection. However, the small sample sizes of case reports and series worldwide, especially from non-Japanese regions, have precluded diagnostic uniformity. Therefore, we conducted a retrospective, multi-institutional study of 55 cases of EB-LBCL and performed a comprehensive review of an additional 147 cases from the literature to identify distinct clinicopathologic characteristics. In our study, EB-LBCL primarily affected elderly (median age 80 years), immunocompetent patients and manifested as lymphomatous effusion without a solid component. The lymphomatous effusions mostly occurred in the pleural cavity (40/55, 73%), followed by the pericardial cavity (17/55, 31%). EB-LBCL expressed CD20 (53/54, 98%) and PAX5 (23/23, 100%). Most cases (30/36, 83%) were of non-germinal center B-cell subtype per the Hans algorithm. HHV8 infection was absent (0/55, 0%), while Epstein-Barr virus was detected in 6% (3/47). Clinically, some patients were managed with drainage alone (15/34, 44%), while others received rituximab alone (4/34, 12%) or chemotherapy (15/34, 44%). Eventually, 56% (22/39) died with a median overall survival (OS) of 14.9 months. Our findings were similar to those from the literature; however, compared to the non-Japanese cases, the Japanese cases had a significantly higher incidence of pericardial involvement, a higher rate of chemotherapy administration, and longer median OS. Particularly, we have found that Japanese residence, presence of pericardial effusion, and absence of MYC rearrangement are all favorable prognostic factors. Our data suggest that EB-LBCL portends a worse prognosis than previously reported, although select patients may be managed conservatively. Overall, EB-LBCL has distinct clinicopathologic characteristics, necessitating the establishment of separate diagnostic criteria and consensus nomenclature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalModern Pathology
StateAccepted/In press - 2022
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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