Prevalence of HTLV-I-associated T-cell lymphoma.
In order to assess the prevalence rate of HTLV-1-associated T-cell lymphomas and human retrovirus infection in general, approximately 21,000 individuals representing various patient populations, retroviral risk groups, and blood donors were examined for HTLV-I, HTLV-II, HIV-1, or HIV-2 infection using serologic and PCR assays. The prevalence rates among volunteer blood donors were 0.02% and 0% for HTLV and HIV, respectively. Significantly increased HTLV prevalence rates were observed among paid blood donors, African American health care clinic patients, Amerindians, recipients of HTLV-positive cellular blood products, intravenous drug users, sexual contacts and family members of HTLV-positive people, and patients with primary thrombocytosis and other-than-low-grade non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL). Among some of these groups there were significant differences in the prevalence of HTLV-I versus HTLV-II. The eight HTLV-positive NHL patients all had mature, high-grade, CD4+ T-cell lymphomas with clonally integrated HTLV-I, for a prevalence of 4% among other-than-low-grade NHL patients. Seven of the eight died from their disease within 2 years despite treatment. Interestingly, two groups at risk for HTLV infection, namely needle stick victims and recipients of HTLV-infected and/or pooled plasma products, showed no evidence for infection. Significantly increased HIV-1 prevalence was observed among paid blood donors, African Americans, homosexuals, female prostitutes, hemophiliacs, and other-than-low-grade NHL patients. Only one patient was infected with HIV-2. Of the nine HIV-positive, other-than-low-grade NHL patients, seven HIV-1 positives had B-cell lymphomas, one HIV-1 positive had an HTLV-I-positive CD4+ T-cell lymphoma, and one infected with HIV-2 had a CD4+ T-cell lymphoma that was HTLV negative. The data indicate that HTLV-I lymphoma, while uncommon, is not necessarily rare among other-than-low-grade NHL cases in the United States and, given its poor prognosis, should probably be studied separately in clinical trials.
Poiesz, BJ; Papsidero, LD; Ehrlich, G; Sherman, M; Dube, S; Poiesz, M; Dillon, K; Ruscetti, FW; Slamon, D; Fang, C; Williams, A; Duggan, D; Glaser, J; Gottlieb, A; Goldberg, J; Ratner, L; Phillips, P; Han, T; Friedman-Kien, A; Siegal, F; Rai, K; Sawitsky, A; Sheremata, LW; Dosik, H; Cunningham, C; Montagna, R
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