HIV-associated plasmablastic lymphoma in the era of HAART: a single-center experience of 21 patients


AIDS. 2020 Oct 1;34(12):1735-1743. doi: 10.1097/QAD.0000000000002590.


OBJECTIVES: Patients with HIV infection have an increased risk of developing plasmablastic lymphoma (PBL). In this study, we reviewed the clinicopathologic features of PBL in HIV+ patients in the era of HAART from a single health center.

DESIGN: Retrospective study.

METHODS: The morphologic, immunophenotypic, and clinical features were reviewed in these HIV+ patients with PBL and univariate analysis was employed to determine the survival prognosis.

RESULTS: During the interval of 1 January 2008 to 30 December 2018, we identified 95 HIV+ patients with aggressive non-Hodgkin B-cell lymphomas. Among these patients, there were 21 (22%) patients with PBL (19 men and two women; median age: 45 years). Seven patients had PBL at their initial HIV diagnosis and 14 developed PBL after a median interval of 7.7 months of HIV diagnosis. Lymph nodes (n = 10), oral cavity/sinonasal mass (n = 6), and rectal masses (n = 5) were the common involved sites, and five of 15 (33%) had bone marrow involvement. Lymphoma cells were immunoreactive for MUM-1/IRF4 (100%), CD138 (90%), CD45 (63%), CD79a (47%), and CD30 (25%). Proliferation rate assessed by Ki67 was at least 90% in 18 of 20 cases. Eighteen patients received chemotherapy including etoposide, prednisone, vincristine, cyclophosphamide, and doxorubicin (n = 13) and cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone (n = 2). With a median follow-up time of 19 months, nine out of 17 patients died. Bone marrow involvement was associated with a poorer overall survival (median: 4.7 months, P = 0.015).

CONCLUSION: PBL is the second most common type of aggressive lymphoma and often presents in lymph nodes of patients with poorly controlled HIV infection. Bone marrow involvement is associated with a poorer outcome.