Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) has a pathogenic role in several lymphomas, including diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). EBV-associated genetic aberrations in DLBCL have not been fully characterized. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of EBV infection in sporadic DLBCL cases in Kuwait and to evaluate their EBV status in relation to demographic data, the anatomical disease site, immunophenotypic features, particularly pertaining to the Choi's DLBCL prognostic classification, and chromosomal aberrations. Using immunohistochemistry (IHC), in situ hybridization (ISH), nested polymerase chain reaction (nPCR) and comparative genomic hybridization techniques, formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded blocks of archived DLBCL cases were included and evaluated in the study. EBV was detected in 6.9, 18.2 and 25% of the studied cases using IHC, ISH and nPCR, respectively, indicating that nPCR is more sensitive in detecting EBV than IHC and ISH. EBV- DLBCL cases showed BCL6 protein expression more frequently than EBV+ DLBCL cases. The reported prevalence of EBV+ DLBCL cases in this study is similar to that reported in the literature using ISH results and higher using nPCR results. There was a significant inverse correlation between BCL6 protein expression and the presence of EBV (p = 0.01).

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