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Germinal centres in diagnostic labial gland biopsies of patients with primary Sjögren’s syndrome are not predictive for parotid MALT lymphoma development


Objective Patients with primary Sjögren’s syndrome (pSS) have an increased risk of developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), particularly parotid gland mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphomas. Presence of germinal centres (GCs) in labial gland biopsies has been suggested as predictive factor for NHL. We assessed whether presence of GCs is increased in labial gland biopsies from patients with pSS who developed parotid MALT lymphoma, the dominant NHL-subtype in pSS, compared with patients with pSS who did not develop lymphoma.

Methods Eleven labial gland biopsies from patients with pSS that were taken prior to parotid MALT lymphoma development were compared with biopsies of 22 matched pSS controls (1:2) who did not develop lymphoma. Biopsies were evaluated for GCs (H&E and Bcl6).

Results Labial gland biopsies of pSS MALT lymphoma patients, revealed GCs in 2/11 (18%) H&E sections and 3/11 (27%) Bcl6 stained sections. In controls, GCs were present in 4/22 (18%) of H&E sections and 5/22 (23%) of Bcl6 stained sections.

Conclusion Presence of GCs in labial gland biopsies does not differ between patients with pSS that develop parotid MALT lymphoma and patients with pSS who do not develop lymphoma. The presence of GCs in labial gland biopsies is therefore not a predictive factor for pSS-associated parotid MALT lymphomas.

  • sjögren’s syndrome
  • germinal centers
  • labial salivary gland
  • MALT lymphoma
  • non-hodgkin lymphoma

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