Immunophenotypic characterisation of non-Hodgkin lymphomas at a tertiary hospital in Ghana

31 Oct 2022
Joseph Adomako, Afua OD Abrahams, Yvonne A Dei-Adomakoh

Background: Non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHLs) are a heterogeneous group of clonal lymphoid tumours originating from lymphocytes. They constitute about 90% of an estimated 3%–4% worldwide distribution of malignant lymphomas among various cancers. Despite the continuous rise and associated deaths, research on NHLs, and in particular the area of immunophenotypic spectrum is limited in Ghana and sub-Saharan Africa.

Methods: A retrospective, descriptive study in which archived tissue blocks of histologically diagnosed NHLs at a tertiary hospital in Accra, Ghana, were used. Antigenic phenotypes were determined by immunohistochemistry.

Results: A total of 66 cases of NHLs, with a mean age of 50.2 ± 16.1 years, were selected for the study. Among the targeted markers, cluster of differentiation 20 (CD20) was the most commonly expressed in 89.4% (59) cases. Immunohistochemistry studies revealed a greater proportion of B cell lymphomas of 89.4%. Five subtypes were successfully identified, of which diffuse large B cell lymphoma constitutes the predominant group (40.9%). A significant association was observed between phenotypic cell types and outcomes of NHLs (p = 0.011).

Conclusion: Adult NHLs were mostly due to the malignant transformation of B cells with diffuse large B cell lymphoma being the commonest subtype. The present study therefore serves as preliminary data for further research towards the adoption of an improved treatment regimen and management of NHLs.

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