Angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma (AITL) is a distinct subtype of peripheral T-cell lymphoma with unique clinical and pathological features. This study aim to analyze the characteristics of AITL and to design a prognostic model specifically for AITL, providing risk stratification in affected patients.

We retrospectively analyzed 55 newly diagnosed AITL patients at the Affiliated Tumor Hospital of Guangxi Medical University from January 2007 to June 2016 and was permitted by the Ethics Committee of the Affiliated Tumor Hospital of Guangxi Medical University.

Among these patients, the median age at diagnosis was 61 (27-85) and 54.55% (30/55) of the patients were older than 60 years. 43 patients were male, accounting for 78.18% of the whole. Among these, 92.73% (51/55) of the diagnoses were estimated at advanced stage. A total of 20 (36.36%) patients were scored >1 by the ECOG performance status. Systemic B symptoms were described in 16 (29.09%) patients. In nearly half of the patients (27/55; 49.09%) had extranodal involved sites. The most common extranodal site involved was BM (11/55; 20.00%). 38.18% (21/55) and 27.27% (15/55) patients had fever with body temperature ≥37.4℃ and pneumonia, respectively. 40% (22/55) patients had cavity effusion or edema. Laboratory investigations showed the presence of anemia (hemoglobin <120 g/L) in 60% (33/55), thrombocytopenia (platelet counts <150×109/L) in 29.09% (16/55), and elevated serum LDH level in 85.45% (47/55) of patients. Serum C-reactive protein and β2-microglobulin levels were found to be elevated in 60.98% (25/41) and 75.00% (36/48)of the patients, respectively.

All patients had complete information for stratification into 4 risk subgroups by IPI score, in which scores of 0-1 point were low risk (9/55;16.36%), two points were low-intermediate risk (17/55; 30.92%), three points were high-intermediate risk (20/55; 36.36%), and four to five points were high risk (9/55; 16.36%). 55 patients were stratified by PIT score with 7.27% (4/55) of patients classified as low risk, 32.73% (18/55) as low-intermediate risk, 34.55% (19/55) as high-intermediate risk, and 25.45% (14/55) as high risk depending on the numbers of adverse prognostic factors.The estimated two-year and five-year overall survival (OS) rate for all patients were 50.50% and 21.70%. Univariate analysis suggested that ECOG PS (p= 0.000), Systemic B symptoms (p= 0.006), fever with body temperature ≥ 37.4℃ (p= 0.000), pneumonia (p= 0.001), cavity effusion or edema (p= 0.000), anemia (p= 0.013), and serum LDH (p= 0.007) might be prognostic factors (p< 0.05) for OS. Multivariate analysis found prognostic factors for OS were ECOG PS (p= 0.026), pneumonia (p= 0.045), and cavity effusion or edema(p= 0.003). We categorized three risk groups: low-risk group, no adverse factor; intermediate-risk group, one factor; and high-risk group, two or three factors. Five-year OS was 41.8% for low-risk group, 15.2% for intermediate-risk group, and 0.0% for high-risk group (p< 0.000).

Patients with AITL had a poor outcome. This novel prognostic model balanced the distribution of patients into different risk groups with better predictive discrimination as compared to the International Prognostic Index and Prognostic Index for PTCL.


No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.

Author notes


Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.