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Sporadic Burkitt lymphoma in southern China: 12 years' experience in a single institution in Guangzhou
  1. Ziyin Ye1,
  2. Yanhua Xiao1,2,
  3. Huijuan Shi1,
  4. Zunfu Ke1,
  5. Yongdong Liu1,
  6. Yingjie Liang1,
  7. Anjia Han1
  1. 1Department of Pathology, the First Affiliated Hospital and Zhongshan School of Medicine, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, China
  2. 2Department of Pathology, Guangzhou Eighth Municipal People's Hospital, Guangzhou, China
  1. Correspondence to Dr Anjia Han, Department of Pathology, the First Affiliated Hospital and Zhongshan School of Medicine, Sun Yat-Sen University, 58, Zhongshan Road II, Guangzhou, 510080 China; hananjia{at}


Aim To analyse the clinicopathological features of sporadic Burkitt lymphoma (sBL).

Methods In a review of 1682 cases of non-Hodgkin lymphoma diagnosed in the First Affiliated Hospital and Zhongshan School of Medicine, from 1998 to 2010, 20 cases (1.2%) of sBL were identified. Histopathological examination, immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridisation were used to analyse the clinicopathological features of these cases.

Results Of the 20 cases of sBL, 18 patients were male and two were female. The mean age was 18 years (range 2–67 years). Extranodal presentation was more common than nodal presentation (55% vs 15%). Histopathologically, 18 cases (90%) showed monotonous medium-sized tumour cells, and two cases showed cells that were slightly pleomorphic in nuclear size and shape. Immunophenotypically, MUM1 was positive in three of 17 cases (17.6%). EBER expression was shown in five of 17 cases (29.4%), and all EBER-positive sBLs were Bcl-6+/MUM1−.

Conclusion sBL is rare and mainly affects male children, with predominantly extranodal presentation. MUM1 expression was found in some sBLs. EBER expression was found in 29.4% of sBLs from southern China, an area with a well-known high incidence of nasopharyngeal carcinoma, which is closely associated with Epstein–Barr virus infection.

  • Burkitt lymphoma
  • Epstein–Barr virus
  • clinicopathological features
  • southern China

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  • Z Ye and Y Xiao contributed equally to this work.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval Ethics approval was obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.