Follicular small lymphocytic lymphoma


We herein provide evidence for the existence of a distinct morphologic form of small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL) that we term follicular small lymphocytic lymphoma (FSLL). Nine specimens of FSLL from eight patients were studied. The lymphomas in this study showed a true follicular pattern that was independent of tissue planes; the cytologic composition was identical to that seen in SLL. All six of the specimens (from five patients) for which paraffin tissue was available marked as B cell phenotype and were positive for bcl-2 protein. Polymerase chain reaction studies performed on deparaffinized tissue sections showed bcl-2 major breakpoint region rearrangements in four of five cases for which study tissue was available. Clinical information was available for all eight patients. All patients presented with lymph node disease, and three patients also had extranodal involvement at the time of presentation. Three of the patients had a relapse of disease after 33-95 months, and two of these patients died soon after relapse. Another two of the eight patients never responded to chemotherapy and died of their disease after 2 and 8 months, respectively. Two patients died of causes unrelated to their lymphoma and unrelated to any lymphoma therapy. Only one patient remains disease-free, after 65 months; this patient had a relapse at 44 months. The finding of bcl-2 rearrangements suggests that the pathogenesis of FSLL is more closely related to follicular small cleaved cell lymphoma than to classic SLL.

Publication Title

American Journal of Surgical Pathology