Association between IgG4-related disease and progressively transformed germinal centers of lymph nodes

Yasuharu Sato, Dai Inoue, Naoko Asano, Katsuyoshi Takata, Hideki Asaoku, Yoshinobu Maeda, Toshiaki Morito, Hirokazu Okumura, Shin Ishizawa, Shoko Matsui, Takayoshi Miyazono, Tamotsu Takeuchi, Naoto Kuroda, Yorihisa Orita, Kiyoshi Takagawa, Masaru Kojima, Tadashi Yoshino

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51 Citations (Scopus)


Progressively transformed germinal centers is a benign condition of unknown pathogenesis characterized by a distinctive variant form of reactive follicular hyperplasia in lymph nodes. We recently reported Ig G4-related disease in progressively transformed germinal centers. However, no large case series has been reported and clinicopathologic findings remain unclear. Here, we report 40 Japanese patients (28 men, 12 women; median age, 56 years) with progressively transformed germinal centers of the lymph nodes who fulfilled the histological diagnostic criteria for IgG4-related disease (IgG4 progressively transformed germinal centers), with asymptomatic localized lymphadenopathy involving the submandibular nodes in 24, submandibular and cervical nodes in 14, cervical nodes only in 1, and cervical and supraclavicular nodes in 1. In all, 16 (52%) of 31 examined patients had allergic disease. Histologically, the lymph nodes demonstrated uniform histological findings, namely marked follicular hyperplasia with progressively transformed germinal centers, and localization of the majority of IgG4 plasma cells in the germinal centers. Serum IgG4, serum IgE and peripheral blood eosinophils were elevated in 87%, 92% and 53% of examined patients, respectively. Eighteen patients subsequently developed extranodal lesions (including five who developed systemic disease), which on histological examination were consistent with IgG4-related disease. IgG4 progressively transformed germinal centers presents with uniform clinicopathological features of asymptomatic localized submandibular lymphadenopathy, which persists and/or relapses, and sometimes progresses to extranodal lesions or systemic disease. Nine patients were administered steroid therapy when the lesions progressed, to which all responded well. We suggest that IgG4 progressively transformed germinal centers should be included in the IgG4-related disease spectrum.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)956-967
Number of pages12
JournalModern Pathology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012


  • IgG4-related disease
  • IgG4-related lymphadenopathy
  • PTGC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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