Primary hepatic low-grade B-cell lymphoma mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) associated with primary biliary cirrhosis

R. M. Prabhu, L. J. Medeiros, D. Kumar, C. I. Drachenberg, J. C. Papadimitriou, H. D. Appelman, L. B. Johnson, J. Laurin, M. Heyman, L. V. Abruzzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We describe a case of low-grade B-cell lymphoma of mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) arising in the liver of a patient with early-stage primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC). The patient, a 62-year old woman, presented with abnormal liver function tests, a positive antimitochondrial antibody titer (1:160), and a liver mass. The resected mass, 6.0 x 5.0 x 4.0 cm, had the features of MALT-type lymphoma. The neoplastic cells were small lymphoid cells of B-cell lineage that surrounded reactive lymphoid follicles and infiltrated bile ductules to form lymphoepithelial lesions. The uninvolved liver had histologic evidence of early stage PBC, characterized by segmental duct destruction with granulomata and an inflammatory infiltrate in the portal triads composed of lymphocytes, plasma cells, and occasional eosinophils. A periportal lymph node showed histologic features of the hyaline-vascular type of Castleman's disease, without evidence of malignant lymphoma. Low-grade B-cell lymphomas of the MALT type rarely arise in the liver and, to our knowledge, have not been reported previously in association with PBC. The association in this case suggests that chronic antigenic stimulation as a result of PBC induced the accumulation of acquired MALT, which subsequently transformed to low-grade B-cell lymphoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)404-410
Number of pages7
JournalModern Pathology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • B cell
  • Castleman's disease
  • Hepatic lymphoma
  • Malignant lymphoma
  • Mucosa- associated lymphoid tissue (MALT)
  • Primary biliary cirrhosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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