Epstein–Barr virus in Reed–Sternberg G‐like cells in non Hodgkin's lymphomas

G. Khan, A. J. Norton, G. Slavin

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29 Citations (Scopus)


In the course of our study on Hodgkin's disease (HD), ten cases of non‐Hodgkin's lymphomas (NHL) containing Hodgkin and Reed‐Sternberg‐like (MRS) cells were encountered. Many of these cases had initially been diagnosed as HD, but on careful review of the histology, with the aid of immunophenotyping studies, they were reclassified as NHL. The presence of Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) in these HRS‐like cells was investigated using a combination of EBER in situ hybridization (ISH) and immunostaining for the detection of EBV‐encoded latent membrane protein (LMP). HRS‐like cells in four cases (two lymphoplasmacytoid lymphomas, one Richter's transformation of lymphoplasmacytoid lymphoma, and one immunoblastic lymphoma of T‐cell type) were found to be EBV‐positive. In two of these cases, a second biopsy taken up to 10 years later also contained EBV in the HRS‐like cells. In three of the four cases, HRS‐like cells expressed the activation antigen CD30, but the expression of B‐ or T‐cell antigens was variable. All cases of T‐cell‐rich B‐cell lymphomas were negative for EBV. In conclusion, EBV may play a role in the development of HRS‐like cells i some cases of NHL. The relationship of HRS‐like cells to HRS cells of HD is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-14
Number of pages6
JournalThe Journal of Pathology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • EBER in situ hybridization
  • Epstein–Barr virus
  • Hodgkin and Reed–Sternberg‐like cells
  • LMP
  • NHL

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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