Warthin's tumour is not an Epstein-Barr virus related disease

Van Heerden W.F.P. ; Kraft K. ; Hemmer J. ; Swart T.J.P. ; Van Heerden M.B. ; Van Rensburg E.J. (1999)


Background: The histogenesis of Warthin's tumour (WT) is controversial. A possible role for Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) has been suggested. Materials and Methods: Twenty formaldehyde-fixed, paraffin-embedded blocks of WT from the parotid gland were examined for the presence of EBV. In situ hybridisation was performed using EBV encoded small nuclear RNAs (EBER1/2) probes labelled with fluorescein isothiocyanate. An EBV-positive P3HR-1 cell line processed to paraffin wax was used as a positive control and a brain section as negative control. Results: EBER1/2 could not be found in the neoplastic epithelial cells in any of the tumours nor in the adjacent normal parotid tissues. Individual positive lymphocytes were present in 7 tumours. Conclusions: These results indicated that EBV is not involved in the pathogenesis of WT.

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