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February 1995

Head and Neck Lymphomas Associated With Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection

Author Affiliations

From the Divisions of Pathology (Drs Carbone, Gloghini, and Volpe), Medical Oncology and AIDS Program (Drs Vaccher and Tirelli), Experimental Oncology 1 (Drs De Re and Boiocchi), Medical Oncology (Dr Monfardini), Centro di Riferimento Oncologico, Istituto Nazionale di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico, Aviano, and the Associate Division of Otolaryngology (Dr Barzan), Pordenone Hospital, Pordenone, Italy.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1995;121(2):210-218. doi:10.1001/archotol.1995.01890020072014

Objective:  To focus on clinicopathologic data of non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (NHLs) of the head and neck area (with lymph nodal or extranodal localization) arising in patients with immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection.

Patients:  Among 73 evaluable patients for presenting symptoms, of a total of 82 with HIV-related NHLs whose conditions were diagnosed at the Centro di Riferimento Oncologico, Aviano (Italy), between September 1984 and May 1992, 15 (21%) had primary, solitary head and neck (P-HN) lymphoma and 13 (18%) had systemic head and neck (S-HN) lymphoma arising from this region.

Results:  Ten (67%) of 15 patients with P-HN NHL had stages I and II, whereas all patients with S-HN NHL had stages III and IV. Twenty-seven of 28 patients had extranodal disease at presentation, the principal sites being Waldeyer's ring and soft tissues. There were only high-grade (14 cases) or intermediate-grade (three cases) NHLs, the most frequent histotypes being small noncleaved cell, Burkitt's type, and large-cell immunoblastic. Seven of 11 cases in the miscellaneous group of the working formulation were classified as Ki-1+ anaplastic large-cell lymphoma. By immunophenotypic and genotypic characterization, a B-cell derivation was suggested for 21 of 28 NHLs. After combination chemotherapy with or without radiotherapy, a complete remission was observed in seven (58%) of 12 patients with P-HN lymphoma and in only two patients with S-HN lymphoma. Median survival was 9.8 months for the patients with P-HN lymphoma and 8.3 months for the other patients. Thirteen patients died, the most common causes of death being opportunistic infections (five cases) and progression of lymphoma (four cases).

Conclusions:  Most HIV-infected patients with head and neck NHL had severe immunodeficiency, extranodal disease, aggressive histologic findings, and a poor treatment response.(Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1995;121:210-218)