2019 Volume 59 Issue 4 Pages 196-201
Gamma heavy chain disease (γ-HCD) is a rare B-cell neoplasm that produces a truncated immunoglobulin γ-heavy chain lacking the light chain. The clinical features of γ-HCD are heterogeneous, resembling different types of B-cell lymphomas. Although rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is one of the common underlying diseases of γ-HCD, the therapeutic modality for RA has changed greatly in recent years; therefore, γ-HCD as iatrogenic immunodeficiency-associated lymphoproliferative disorder (LPD) should be taken into consideration. Here, we report such a γ-HCD case. A 69-year-old female was admitted because of fever, multiple lymph node swelling in the abdominal cavity, and peritoneal effusion. She had been treated using methotrexate for RA for 14 years, and using infliximab and adalimumab for Crohn’s disease for one year. The serum concentration of IgG was 3,525 mg/dL, which was revealed to be monoclonal IgG lacking the light chain by rocket immunoselection assay. CD19+/CD20-/smκ−/smλ− large abnormal lymphocytes were observed in the peritoneal fluid, which were demonstrated to be clonal B-cells by PCR examination. Discontinuation of methotrexate did not improve her condition and she died of pneumonia. Many abnormal lymphocytes positive for IgG and EBER but negative for the light chain were found on immunohistological examination of necropsy specimens from the spleen and bone marrow.