Lymphoma & related disorders

Mature B cell neoplasms

Large B cell lymphomas-special subtypes

Plasmablastic lymphoma of oral mucosa type

Topic Completed: 1 March 2011

Minor changes: 28 September 2021

Copyright: 2001-2022,, Inc.

PubMed Search: plasmablastic lymphoma oral mucosa type

Nikhil Sangle, M.D.
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Cite this page: Sangle N. Plasmablastic lymphoma of oral mucosa type. website. Accessed January 21st, 2022.
Clinical features
  • Usually involves mucosa of oral cavity and jaw with local invasion and rapid dissemination to extraoral sites; also nasal cavity, paranasal sinuses, eyelid, orbit or occasionally other sites with similar morphology
  • No serum monoclonal protein, no significant bone marrow involvement
  • Usually HIV+ (73%), EBV+; occasionally HIV- but immunosuppressed or elderly patients without known immunodeficiency
  • More common than non oral mucosal type
  • Usually male, median age 48 years (range 11 - 86 years)
  • Aggressive with poor prognosis (survival 1 - 16 months)
  • Originates from plasmablast, a blastic B cell with phenotype switched to that of a plasma cell
  • May be associated with Castleman disease
  • Secondary cases are associated with another plasma cell neoplasm
  • Variant with plasmacytic differentiation: no gender predominance; median age 55 years (range 30 - 86 years); nodal or extranodal; may occur in oral cavity; only 33% HIV+; usually BCL6 and HHV8 negative; also aggressive - most patients die in first year after diagnosis
Case reports
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Monotonous proliferation of large lymphoid cells with immunoblastic features (abundant basophilic cytoplasm with occasional paranuclear hofs, open chromatin, prominent central nucleoli); cohesive tumor cells may resemble plasmablasts
  • Tumor cells infiltrate in large cohesive masses with relatively well defined advancing edge
  • Frequent mitotic figures, apoptotic cells, occasional tingible body macrophages, cells with plasmacytic features
  • Variant with plasmacytic differentiation has predominance of immunoblasts and plasmablasts (rounded nuclei, coarse chromatin, smaller nuclei), also small cells with plasmacytic differentiation, and occasional binucleated cells with typical plasma cell cartwheel chromatin
Microscopic (histologic) images

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44 year old man with parotid gland tumor

51 year old man with 8 year history of HIV

Positive stains
Negative stains
Molecular / cytogenetics description
  • Monoclonal immunoglobulin heavy chain gene rearrangement
Differential diagnosis
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