Hepatosplenic and Hepatocytotropic T-Cell Lymphoma: Two Distinct Types of T-Cell Lymphoma in Dogs

S. M. Keller, William Vernau, J. Hodges, Philip H Kass, J. G. Vilches-Moure, V. McElliot, Peter F Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


The clinical, clinicopathologic, and pathological findings of 9 dogs with T-cell lymphoma that involved the liver in the absence of peripheral lymphadenopathy were assessed. Seven dogs had hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma (HS-TCL). Dogs with HS-TCL presented with hepato- and/or splenomegaly, regenerative anemia, thrombocytopenia, and hypoproteinemia. The clinical course was rapidly progressive with all dogs but 1 dead within 24 days of initial presentation. Neoplastic lymphocytes were centered on hepatic and splenic sinusoids and had a CD3+ (5/7), TCRαβ- (5/5), TCRγδ+ (3/5), CD11d+ (6/7), granzyme B+ (5/7) immunophenotype. Bone marrow and lungs were consistently but variably involved. These findings closely resemble the human disease and support the classification of HS-TCL as a distinct World Health Organization entity in dogs. The remaining 2 dogs markedly differed in the pattern of hepatic involvement by neoplastic lymphocytes, which were not confined to hepatic sinusoids but invaded hepatic cords. In addition, neoplastic cells had a CD11d- immunophenotype, and clinicopathologic data indicated marked cholestasis and mild to absent anemia. Based on the distinct tropism of neoplastic lymphocytes for hepatocytes, the name hepatocytotropic T-cell lymphoma (HC-TCL) is proposed. Given the histomorphologic, clinicopathologic, and immunophenotypic differences, HC-TCL likely represents a separate biological entity rather than a histomorphologic variant of HS-TCL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)281-290
Number of pages10
JournalVeterinary Pathology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2013


  • emperipolesis
  • gamma delta T cell
  • hepatocytotropic T cell lymphoma
  • hepatosplenic T cell lymphoma
  • molecular clonality
  • WHO classification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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