Definition of two distinct types of AIDS‐associated non‐Hodgkin lymphoma

Michael J. Boyle, Cheryl E. Swanson, Jennifer J. Turner, Ian L. Thompson, John Roberts, Ronald Penny, David A. Cooper*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Summary Non‐Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) in a human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)‐infected person is an AIDS‐defining condition. There is both an increased incidence of NHL and a poorer prognosis for the disease in these HIV‐infected persons, compared with patients who spontaneously develop NHL. A series of 41 consecutive patients with HIV‐associated NHL treated at St Vincent's Hospital, Sydney. between 1984 and September 1989 was assessed. Of these, 36 had NHL proven on biopsy and NHL was diagnosed clinically in the other five. On histologic examination 11 had high‐grade malignant lymphoma, small non‐cleaved cell (SNCC) type, similar to Burkitt lymphoma, 18 had high‐grade lymphoma large cell immunoblastic (LCI) type, and seven could not be classified due to inadequate material for assessment. The clinical features of these two groups were compared. Those patients with LCI had advanced CD4+ immunodeficiency and poor survival (median = 6 weeks). The other group with SNCC had better preserved immune function, and longer survival (median=18 weeks). Three patients had survived longer than 3 years all of whom had SNCC lymphoma as their first AIDS‐defining illness. The clinical features and prognostic factors demonstrated in this study document heterogeneity of NHL in HIV‐infected patients and should be used as a guide to treatment of these patients, by reserving more intensive treatment for those persons with better prognostic features.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)506-512
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Haematology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes


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