Simple karyotype and bcl-6 expression predict a diagnosis of Burkitt lymphoma and better survival in IG-MYC rearranged high-grade B-cell lymphomas

Adam C. Seegmiller, Rolando Garcia, Rong Huang, Atousa Maleki, Nitin J. Karandikar, Weina Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Rearrangement of MYC with immunoglobulin genes is a hallmark of Burkitt lymphoma. However, this rearrangement is not entirely specific and is often accompanied by varying numbers of additional cytogenetic abnormalities. This study aimed to assess the impact of karyotypic complexity, in correlation with comprehensive immunophenotypic analyses on the diagnosis and clinical outcomes of 34 cases of MYC-IG rearranged lymphomas that included Burkitt lymphoma (twenty-two cases), diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (three cases), unclassifiable B-cell lymphoma with features intermediate between diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and Burkitt lymphoma (six cases), and plasmablastic lymphoma (three cases). Additional cytogenetic abnormalities were observed in 26 of 34 cases (76%), including four cases (12%) that harbored dual translocations involving BCL-2 or BCl-6. Burkitt lymphoma cases had a significantly lower number of additional abnormalities (mean of 1.7), compared with unclassified B-cell lymphoma (3.3), diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (21.7), and plasmablastic lymphoma (6.7). Cases with simple karyotype (2 additional abnormalities) were more likely to have a diagnosis of Burkitt lymphoma (89 versus 33% in patients with 2 additional abnormalities, P≤0.01) and express bcl-6 (95 versus 47%, P≤0.01). In addition, Burkitt lymphoma, bcl-6 expression, and simple karyotype were individual predictors of better overall survival. However, in multivariate analyses, only bcl-6 expression remained an independent predictor, although survival could be further stratified by karyotypic complexity in bcl-6() patients. We conclude that simple karyotype and bcl-6 expression suggest a diagnosis of Burkitt lymphoma and may portend better overall survival. These results may be very useful in the diagnosis and stratification of MYC-IG rearranged high-grade B-cell lymphomas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)909-920
Number of pages12
JournalModern Pathology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2010


  • B-cell lymphoma with features between Burkitt lymphoma and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma
  • Burkitt lymphoma
  • IG-MYC rearrangement
  • diffuse large B cell lymphoma
  • karyotype
  • plasmablastic lymphoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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