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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Progressive transformation of germinal centers

Other Names for this Disease
  • PTGC
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Your Question

My daughter has progressive transformation of germinal centers and has had 5 excision surgeries over the years.  Is there any theory on what causes this and any suggestions on how to prevent further occurrences?  Is this genetic?

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

What is progressive transformation of germinal centers?

Progressive transformation of germinal centers is a condition in which a lymph node becomes very enlarged (lymphadenopathy).  Typically, only one lymph node is affected, though PTGC can involve multiple lymph nodes.  The neck is the most common location of affected lymph nodes, but PTGC may also affect lymph nodes in the groin and armpits.  Adults are more frequently affected than children, but children have a higher chance of developing PTGC multiple times (recurrence).  PTGC is not considered a precancerous condition, though it has been associated with Hodgkin lymphoma.[1]
Last updated: 4/24/2013

What causes progressive transformation of germinal centers?  Is it genetic?

The cause of progressive transformation of germinal centers (PTGC) is currently unknown.[2]  Also, there is no evidence in the medical literature that PTGC is a genetic condition.
Last updated: 4/24/2013

What treatment is available for progressive transformation of germinal centers?

Because progressive transformation of germinal centers (PTGC) is considered a benign condition and usually has no symptoms other than the enlarged lymph node, no treatment is necessary. The enlarged lymph node may stay the same size or shrink over time.[3]  Affected individuals should have regular follow-up visits with their physician; a biopsy should be taken of any new enlarged lymph node because PTGC is associated with Hodgkin lymphoma in some individuals.[1]
Last updated: 4/24/2013

  • Hicks J, Flaitz C. Progressive transformation of germinal centers: review of histopathologic and clinical features. International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology. 2002; 65:195-202. Accessed 4/23/2013.
  • Chang CC, Osipov V, Wheaton S, Tripp S, Perkins SL. Follicular hyperplasia, follicular lysis, and progressive transformation of germinal centers. A sequential spectrum of morphologic evolution in lymphoid hyperplasia. American Journal of Clinical Pathology. 2003; 120:322-326. Accessed 4/23/2013.
  • Brown JR, Skarin AT. Clinical mimics of lymphoma. The Oncologist. 2004; 9:406-416. Accessed 4/23/2013.