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September 1997

Epstein-Barr Virus: A Serial Killer or an Innocent Bystander?

Author Affiliations

Department of Pathology Medical College of Georgia 1120 15th St Augusta, Ga 30912-3605

Arch Dermatol. 1997;133(9):1156-1157. doi:10.1001/archderm.1997.03890450106013

During THE past few years, the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) has emerged as a possible cause of a large number of lymphoid proliferations. The spectrum of EBV-associated lymphoid proliferations is broad and includes T-cell lymphomas,1 B-cell lymphomas in immunosuppressed individuals,2,3 Hodgkin disease,4 and CD30+ anaplastic large cell lymphomas.5 Is EBV capable of inducing all these lymphoid neoplasms, or is it just an innocent bystander in the wrong place at the wrong time? Let us analyze the possible role of EBV in the etiopathogenesis of different lymphoid proliferations.

In this issue of the Archives, Iwatsuki et al6 report on the clinicopathological manifestations of different types of cutaneous lymphomas associated with EBV. Based on their findings, they propose that EBV-associated cutaneous lymphoid proliferations be divided into the following 4 groups: subcutaneous lymphoma associated with hemophagocytosis, hydroa vacciniforme (HV)—like vesiculopapular eruptions, angiocentric lymphomas (ALs), and histiocytoid lymphomas associated with