LIM domain only 2 (LMO2) expression distinguishes T-lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma from indolent T-lymphoblastic proliferations

Nivaz Brar, Alexandra Butzmann, Jyoti Kumar, Raheem Peerani, Elizabeth A. Morgan, George Grigoriadis, Beena Kumar, R. Maciej Tatarczuch, Roger A. Warnke, Robert S. Ohgami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Aims: An indolent T-lymphoblastic proliferation (iT-LBP) is a benign, reactive expansion of immature terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TdT)-positive T cells found in extrathymic tissues. iT-LBP can be challenging to distinguish from malignant processes, specifically T-lymphoblastic lymphoma (T-LBL), given the overlapping clinical and histological features. Recently, it has been shown that LIM domain only 2 (LMO2) is overexpressed in T-LBL but not in reactive immature TdT+ T cells in the thymus. On the basis of these findings, the aim of this study was to investigate the expression of LMO2 by using immunohistochemistry and its role in differentiating iT-LBPs from T-LBLs. Methods and results: We retrospectively identified cases of iT-LBP and T-LBL from the pathology archives of four institutions. Seven iT-LBP cases (including five new cases that have not been reported in the literature) and 13 T-LBL cases were analysed. Clinical, morphological, immunophenotypic and molecular data were analysed. Immunohistochemical staining with LMO2 was performed on all iT-LBP and T-LBL cases. A review of five new iT-LBP cases showed similar morphological, immunophenotypic and molecular features to those of previously reported cases. All iT-LBP cases were negative for LMO2 (0/7), whereas 92% of T-LBL cases (12/13) expressed LMO2; the sensitivity was 92% (confidence interval 64–100%) and the specificity was 100% (confidence interval 59–100%). Conclusion: We confirm previously published findings that iT-LBP cases show highly overlapping morphological and immunophenotypic features with T-LBL. Importantly, LMO2 expression is a sensitive and specific marker with which to rule out iT-LBP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)984-988
Number of pages5
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • indolent T-lymphoblastic proliferation
  • LMO2
  • T-lymphoblastic lymphoma

Cite this