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Angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma (AITL) is typically staged using the Ann Arbor Staging System, which is commonly used for lymphomas. This system classifies the disease into four stages based on the extent and location of the tumor:

  • Stage I: The cancer is located in a single lymph node region or a single non-lymph node site.
  • Stage II: The cancer is located in two or more lymph node regions on the same side of the diaphragm or extends from a single lymph node region into a nearby organ.
  • Stage III: The cancer is located in lymph node regions on both sides of the diaphragm.
  • Stage IV: The cancer has spread to multiple organs or areas outside the lymph nodes.

Each stage can also be classified as "A" or "B" based on whether the patient is experiencing symptoms such as fever, weight loss, or night sweats. "A" means these symptoms are not present, while "B" indicates they are.

Classification of Angioimmunoblastic T-Cell Lymphoma

AITL is classified as a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, specifically a mature T-cell lymphoma. It is further classified based on its unique clinical, morphological, and immunophenotypic features. The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies AITL as a nodal T-cell lymphoma with systemic involvement, often associated with autoimmune phenomena.

Phases of Angioimmunoblastic T-Cell Lymphoma

The phases of AITL are not typically described in the same way as traditional cancer stages. Instead, the disease course can be divided into three general phases:

  • Initial phase: This is characterized by nonspecific symptoms such as fever, weight loss, and enlarged lymph nodes. Laboratory findings may include elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), hypergammaglobulinemia, and the presence of autoantibodies.
  • Intermediate phase: This phase is marked by the development of more specific symptoms such as skin rash, enlarged spleen, and enlarged lymph nodes. Laboratory findings may show anemia, thrombocytopenia, and increased levels of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH).
  • Advanced phase: In this phase, the disease has spread to other parts of the body. Symptoms may include severe infections, organ dysfunction, and other complications related to the spread of the disease.

In summary, the staging and classification of AITL is complex and involves multiple factors. Staging and classification is crucial in determining the appropriate treatment strategy and predicting the patient's prognosis.

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