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Chinese Journal of Pathology ; (12): 108-113, 2022.
Article in Chinese | WPRIM | ID: wpr-935485


Objective: To study the clinicopathological and genetic features of natural killer (NK)-cell enteropathy for better understanding of this rare disease and prevention of its misdiagnosis. Methods: Two cases of NK-cell enteropathy were diagnosed in the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, China from October 2017 to February 2021. The clinical characteristics, morphology, immunohistochemistry, Epstein-Barr virus-encoded RNA (EBER) in situ hybridization and T cell receptor gene rearrangement were analyzed. The patients were followed up by a telephone interview. Results: The patients were both male, aged 40 and 28 years, respectively. Both patients were admitted to the hospital for an annual checkup without obvious gastrointestinal symptoms. The endoscopy showed that the gastric body of case 1 had a mucosal bulge, small area of congestion and erosion, while the rectum of case 2 had congestion and erosion. Microscopically, the lesions of the 2 cases were relatively limited. Many lymphoid cells infiltrated within the lamina propria of the mucosa and into the muscularis mucosa in case 2. In case 1, the glands were reduced in the lesion, and the glandular cavity was slightly compressed and deformed. There was no infiltration or destruction of the glands in either case. Lymphoid cells were atypical, with medium-to-large cell sizes. Their cytoplasm was medium-to-slightly abundant and appeared eosinophilic or translucent. In case 2, characteristic eosinophilic granules were seen in the cytoplasm of a few cells. The nuclei in both cases were round, oval and irregular, with fine chromatin, inconspicuous nucleoli, and no mitotic figures were noted. Necrosis was seen in case 1 while both cases had no central growth or destruction of blood vessels. Immunophenotyping showed that CD56, granzyme B and TIA-1 were positive in both cases, part of the cells was CD3-positive, and some cells were weakly CD4-positive in case 2. The CD5, CD8, CD30, ALK and B-lineage markers (CD20, CD79α) were all negative. The Ki-67 proliferation index was about 60% and 30%, respectively. Both cases were EBER negative. TCR gene rearrangement was polyclonal. Follow-up showed that none of the 2 patients had any special treatments and stayed well. Conclusions: NK-cell enteropathy is rare, with biological behaviors similar to benign tumors, and occasional recurrence. Its histology and immunophenotype are easily confused with NK/T cell-derived lymphomas. Combination of its unique endoscopic features, EBER negativity, polyclonal TCR gene rearrangement and good prognosis can confirm the diagnosis and avoid misdiagnosis and overtreatment.

Epstein-Barr Virus Infections , Herpesvirus 4, Human/genetics , Humans , Immunophenotyping , Killer Cells, Natural , Lymphoproliferative Disorders , Male