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CD3-positive Large B-cell Lymphoma

Wang, Jun MD*; Chen, Chen MD, PhD; Lau, Sean MD; Raghavan, Ravi I. MD*; Rowsell, Edward H. MD, PhD*; Said, Jonathan MD; Weiss, Lawrence M. MD; Huang, Qin MD, PhD

The American Journal of Surgical Pathology: April 2009 - Volume 33 - Issue 4 - p 505-512
doi: 10.1097/PAS.0b013e318185d231
Original Articles

It is not uncommon for some B-lineage non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHLs) to aberrantly coexpress T-cell markers, particularly CD5, as well as CD7, CD2, CD4, and/or CD8 in rare cases. Cases of CD3-positive B-cell NHL, however, have not previously been described in the literature. We present 4 cases of large B-cell lymphoma aberrantly coexpressing T-cell marker CD3 and B-lineage markers as well as demonstrating clonal rearrangement of the immunoglobulin genes but not the γ T-cell receptor gene. To our knowledge, this represents the first series report of B-cell NHL coexpressing T-lineage–specific marker CD3. The identification of such cases indicates that the use of CD3 antibody alone in paraffin sections may lead to an incorrect determination of cell lineage in some B-cell NHL. Immunohistochemistry using additional cell lineage specific markers or molecular analysis for antigen receptor gene rearrangements are necessary for correct determination of the cell lineage in such cases.

*Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Loma Linda University Medical Center, Loma Linda

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles

Division of Pathology, City of Hope National Medical Center, Duarte, CA

Correspondence: Qin Huang, MD, PhD, Department of Anatomic Pathology, City of Hope National Medical Center, 1500 E. Duarte Road, Duarte, CA 91010 (e-mail:

Chen Chen, MD, PhD is now at Baylor College of Medicine.

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.