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July 1989

Diffuse Large-cell Lymphoma of B-cell Origin and Deficient T-cell Function in a Patient With Rheumatoid Arthritis

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Hematology and Oncology, Department of Medicine, University of Tennessee, Memphis.

Arch Intern Med. 1989;149(7):1688-1690. doi:10.1001/archinte.1989.00390070188033

• An increased incidence of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma has been described in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Mechanisms related to abnormal immune regulation have been postulated, but no patients with rheumatoid arthritis and lymphoma have been previously well characterized immunologically. We describe here a patient with long-standing rheumatoid arthritis in whom a B-cell diffuse large-cell lymphoma developed. He was found to have a severe T-cell immunodeficiency and evidence of persistent Epstein-Barr virus infection. Epstein-Barr nuclear antigen was not found to be present within lymphoma cells. The combination of defective T-cell function and persistent Epstein-Barr virus infection may have predisposed this patient with rheumatoid arthritis to the development of a malignant clone of B lymphocytes.

(Arch Intern Med. 1989;149:1688-1690)

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