Lymphoid enhancer binding factor 1 (LEF1) is expressed in most cases of chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma (CLL/SLL) and has shown utility in distinguishing CLL/SLL from other small B-cell lymphomas. LEF1 expression has not been systematically studied in CD5-positive marginal zone lymphomas (MZLs), lymphoplasmacytic lymphomas (LPLs), and follicular lymphomas (FLs). We evaluated whether these cases lacked LEF1, helping to distinguish them from CLL/SLL.
MZLs, LPLs, and FLs expressing CD5 were retrospectively studied for expression of LEF1 by immunohistochemistry.
LEF1 was absent in 17 of 18 CD5-positive lymphomas including 13 MZLs (2 nodal, 3 splenic, and 8 mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphomas), 3 LPLs, and 1 of 2 FLs. One grade 3A CD5-positive FL expressed LEF1 in a majority of tumor cells.
LEF1 is not expressed in most CD5-positive MZLs and LPLs; therefore, it is a reliable marker for distinguishing them from CLL/SLL. LEF1 may be expressed in CD5-positive FLs.

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