What is the WHO classification of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL)?

Updated: Mar 15, 2019
  • Author: Muhammad Rashid Abbasi, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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The WHO modification of the REAL classification of NHL is based on morphology and cell lineage. Within the B-cell and T-cell categories, two subdivisions are recognized: precursor neoplasms, which correspond to the earliest stages of differentiation, and more mature differentiated neoplasms. [34]

The WHO classification subtypes for NHL precursors are as follows:

  • Precursor B–lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma

  • Precursor T–lymphoblastic lymphoma/leukemia

The WHO classification subtypes for peripheral B-cell neoplasms are as follows:

  • B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia/small lymphocytic lymphoma

  • B-cell prolymphocytic leukemia

  • Lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma/immunocytoma

  • Mantle cell lymphoma

  • Follicular lymphoma

  • Extranodal marginal zone B-cell lymphoma of mucosa-associated lymphatic tissue (MALT) type

  • Nodal marginal zone B-cell lymphoma (± monocytoid B cells)

  • Splenic marginal zone lymphoma (± villous lymphocytes)

  • Hairy cell leukemia

  • Plasmacytoma/plasma cell myeloma

  • Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL)

  • Burkitt lymphoma

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