The distinction between Burkitt lymphoma and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma with c-myc rearrangement

Naoya Nakamura, Hirokazu Nakamine, Jun ichi Tamaru, Shigeo Nakamura, Tadashi Yoshino, Kouichi Ohshima, Masafumi Abe

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To compare immunophenotypic and molecular features between Burkitt lymphoma (BL) and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) with c-myc rearrangements (c-mycR DLBCL), we analyzed 18 cases of B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma with c-mycR that were confirmed by chromosomal and/or Southern blotting analyses. The cases were histologically classified into 10 BLs and five DLBCLs. The remaining three cases could not be classified because of suboptimal quality of the surgical materials. BLs were from five adults and five children, whereas all DLBCLs were from adults. BLs were positive for CD20 (10/10 cases examined), CD10 (9/10), Bcl-2 (1/9), and Bcl-6 (10/10), whereas they were negative for CD3 (0/10) and EBV (0/8), by Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) EBER-1 RNA in situ hybridization. c-MycR DLBCLs were positive for CD20 (5/5), CD10 (2/5), Bcl-2 (3/4), and Bcl-6 (4/4), whereas none of them were positive for CD3 and EBV. A mean of MIB-1 index (MIB-1+ cells/neoplastic cells, %) of BLs (98.1%) was higher than that of c-mycR DLBCLs (66.3%; P <.0001). Somatic mutation of immunoglobulin heavy-chain gene variable region (VH gene) in BLs (four cases) ranged from 0.7 to 4.9% with an average value of 2.3%, whereas those in DLBCLs (three cases) from 8.2 to 32.0% with an average value of 17.0%. It is, therefore, concluded that a growth fraction of nearly 100%, as well as a monotonous proliferation of medium-sized cells and c-mycR, should be of value in the diagnosis of BL, which is probably different from c-mycR DL-BCL. In addition, CD10+, Bcl-2-, and low frequency of mutation of the VH gene could be helpful for the histologic distinction of BL from (c-mycR) DLBCL.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)771-776
Number of pages6
JournalModern Pathology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2002



  • Burkitt lymphoma
  • C-myc rearrangement
  • Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma
  • Immunoglobulin heavy chain gene
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • MIB-1
  • Somatic mutation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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