Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, coeliac disease, and Epstein-Barr virus: a study of 13 cases of enteropathy-associated T- and B-cell lymphoma

M Ilyas, G Niedobitek, A Agathanggelou, R E Barry, A E Read, R Tierney, L S Young, N Rooney

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37 Citations (Scopus)


A group of 166 patients with coeliac disease was followed for a period of up to 25 years. During this time, 17 patients developed intestinal tumours that were diagnosed as lymphoma, of which 15 cases were available for review. Eleven of the lymphomas were of T-cell type (enteropathy-associated T-cell lymphoma, EATL) and two were of B-cell type. Two cases were reclassified as undifferentiated carcinoma. The interval between the diagnosis of enteropathy and the onset of lymphoma varied from less than 2 months in four patients to more than 5 years in seven. Seven of the T-cell and both B-cell lymphomas were investigated for the presence of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) by in situ hybridization (ISH) using probes against Epstein-Barr virus-encoded RNAs (EBERs) and by immunohistochemistry with EBV-specific monoclonal antibodies. All EATL cases were negative, suggesting that EBV is not an important factor in these cases. In one of the B-cell cases, EBV was detectable by ISH and immunohistochemistry in most tumour cells in the mesenteric lymph nodes, but not in any of the tumour cells in the primary ileal tumour, indicating that in this case EBV infection was a late event in the neoplastic process. These results show that lymphoma may develop any time after the onset of coeliac disease and that in our cases of EATL, EBV was not an important factor. In some cases of EBV-related neoplasia, virus infection may be a late event.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-22
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Pathology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1995


  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Celiac Disease
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cocarcinogenesis
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Herpesviridae Infections
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Intestinal Neoplasms
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell
  • Lymphoma, T-Cell
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Tumor Virus Infections


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