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CD Markers


Reviewers: Nat Pernick, M.D. (see Reviewers page)
Revised: 24 August 2013, last major update January 2011
Copyright: (c) 2002-2013, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

See also CD30V below


● Lympocyte activation antigen important in diagnosis of classic Hodgkin's lymphoma, anaplastic large cell lymphoma and embryonal carcinoma


● Also known as Ki-1, Ber-H2


● Member of tumor necrosis factor family of cell surface receptors; also a lymphocyte activation antigen
● Overexpression causes constitutive expression of nuclear factor-KB, which is considered the molecular basis for aberrant growth and cytokine expression that causes Hodgkin’s lymphoma (Am J Pathol 2003;163:633)
● Ligand is CD153
● May also be involved in elimination of autoreactive T cells in thymus

Clinical features

● In renal transplants, high serum soluble CD30 levels in graft recipients predicts acute and chronic rejection and graft loss (Am J Transplant 2005;5:1922, Transplant Proc 2005;37:1776, Transplantation 2005;79:1154)


● Membranous and Golgi type staining
● Staining doesn’t work well with prolonged formalin fixation or with B5 fixation


● Confirm diagnosis of anaplastic large cell lymphoma, classic Hodgkin’s lymphoma, embryonal carcinoma
● Other lymphoma diagnosis

Micro images

Anaplastic large cell lymphoma:

Primary cutaneous scrotal tumor


Left: post-liver transplant (figure B);   Middle: primary cutaneous (figure 4);   Right: brain tumor in HIV patient


Left: primary brain tumor (figure B);   Right: sarcomatoid variant figure 7)


Left: CD30+ scalp lesion (figure B);   Right: primary bone tumor (figure 2B)


Strong membrane and golgi staining pattern (site unspecified); Left-figure C;   Middle-figure B;   Right-figure C

Small cell variant of anaplastic large cell lymphoma

Bone tumor (figure A)

Classic Hodgkin's lymphoma:

Membrane staining


From left to right: Pulmonary (figure 3B);   GE junction (figure D);   EBV+ ileal tumor (figure D);   colon (figure 4b)

Membrane and paranuclear staining due to transformation from prolymphocytic SLL/CLL

Classic Hodgkin's lymphoma expressing T cell antigens

Other lymphoma:

Left: plasmablastic lymphoma (figure 4);   Right: atypical cells in follicular lymphoma


Lymphomatoid papulosis


Left: embryonal carcinoma (figure 6);   Right: embryonal carcinoma-intratubular (figure 4)

Mesothelioma (figure 5)

Positive staining - normal

● Granulocytes, plasma cells (some, Am J Clin Path 1989;91:18)
● Activated B, T and NK cells, monocytes, decidua (Am J Pathol 1994;145:276)

Positive staining - disease

● Anaplastic large cell lymphoma (systemic or primary cutaneous, 90%), classic Hodgkin’s lymphoma (Reed-Sternberg cells, J Clin Pathol 2002;55:162)
● Also Reed-Sternberg like cells in follicular lymphoma (Am J Clin Path 2004;122:858, Arch Pathol Lab Med 2001;125:1036)
● Primary mediastinal large B cell lymphoma (usually focal)
● Peripheral T-cell lymphoma (occasional, Am J Surg Pathol 2003;27:1513)
● Sprue-associated lymphoma, Lennert’s lymphoma (occasional), primary effusion lymphoma (Am J Clin Path 1996;105:221)
● Primary cutaneous CD30+ lymphoproliferative disorders, lymphomatoid papulosis (Blood 2002;100:578) and EBV-associated atypical lymphoproliferative disease mimicking Hodgkin's lymphoma (Am J Surg Pathol 2010;34:1715)
● Diffuse large cell lymphoma (variable, usually focal, Am J Surg Pathol 2002;26:1458)
● Plasmablastic lymphoma (Arch Pathol Lab Med 2004;128:581) and plasma cell neoplasms (some)
● Eosinophil rich CD30+ lymphoproliferative disorder of oral mucosa (Am J Clin Path 2004;121:43)
● Sinonasal NK/T cell lymphoma with large cell morphology (focal, Am J Surg Pathol 2000;24:1511)
● Nasal NK/T cell lymphoma in Chinese patients (Hum Pathol 2006;37:54)

● Embryonal carcinoma of testis (100%, but variable intensity, Am J Surg Pathol 2004;28:935)
● Yolk sac tumors (24%, Hum Pathol 1998;29:737), seminoma (6%, Am J Clin Path 2000;113:583)
● Rarely mesothelioma (Arch Pathol Lab Med 2000;124:1077)
● Lymphocytes infected with HIV, HTLV-1, EBV, HHV8, hepatitis B or herpes (Am J Surg Pathol 2006;30:50)
● Also epithelioid inflammatory myofibrolastic sarcoma (Am J Surg Pathol 2011;35:135), non-neoplastic inflammatory cutaneous infiltrates (Am J Surg Pathol 2003;27:912), including arthropod bites, Omenn's syndrome (Am J Surg Pathol 1996;20:773)

Negative staining

● Nodular lymphocyte predominant Hodgkin’s lymphoma (Am J Clin Path 2003;119:192)
● Adult T cell leukemia/lymphoma, pre-B ALL, extramedullary myeloid tumors (Am J Surg Pathol 1993;17:1011), follicular dendritic cell tumor, interdigitating dendritic cell sarcoma (Am J Clin Path 2001;115:589)
● Histiocytic sarcoma (Am J Surg Pathol 2004;28:1133), lymphoepithelioma-like carcinoma, melanoma, reticulohistiocytoma (Am J Surg Pathol 2006;30:521), T cell prolymphocytic leukemia (Am J Surg Pathol 2005;29:935)
● Kikuchi’s disease/necrotizing lymphadenitis (Am J Surg Pathol 1999;23:1040)
● Systemic mastocytosis (Hum Pathol 2001;32:545)

Flow cytometry images


Flow cytometry images of anaplastic large cell lymphoma

Additional references

MIM 153243



● Variant form of CD30 which retains only the cytoplasmic domain
● Very little has been published about CD30v


● No significant clinical use by pathologists

Positive staining - normal

● Alveolar macrophages (Blood 1996;88:2422)

Positive staining - disease

● Myeloid and lymphoid malignancies (Am J Pathol 1999;155:2029)

End of CD Markers > CD30

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