The nature of gastric infiltrates consisting primarily of benign-appearing small lymphocytes is at present a controversial issue. Earlier reports of gastric lymphoma developing in gastric pseudolymphoma and more recent immunohistochemical studies demonstrating monoclonal B-cell populations in pseudolymphoma suggest that at least some cases represent low-grade lymphomas or clonal precursor lesions that may develop into lymphoma. Observations of a small lymphocytic infiltrate arising in the region of a gastric ulcer that lacked definitive morphologic evidence of malignancy (lymphoma) but was clearly a monoclonal B-cell proliferation by immunohistochemical and gene rearrangement studies support the notion that some gastric lymphoproliferative lesions that histologically have been called pseudolymphomas may include one or more clonal lymphoid expansions. A histopathologic/molecular model suggesting a potential pathway for the development of morphologically recognizable lymphoma from benign-appearing small lymphocytic infiltrates is presented, and the concept that for a variety of lymphoid proliferations clonality and malignancy may not be synonymous is discussed.
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