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Nodular Lymphocyte Predominant Hodgkin Lymphoma
An Immunophenotypic Reappraisal Based on a Single-Institution Experience

Patricia Uherova MD, Riccardo Valdez MD, Charles W. Ross MD, Bertram Schnitzer MD, William G. Finn MD
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1309/38RK238FCDCH5R22 192-198 First published online: 1 February 2003


In our experience, certain commonly cited immunophenotypic features of nodular lymphocyte predominant Hodgkin lymphoma (NLPHL) are not encountered in day-to-day practice. We reviewed 60 cases of NLPHL (18 women, 42 men; median age, 34 years) to discern immunophenotypic features from a large, single-institution cohort. All cases contained lymphocytic and histiocytic (L&H) cells. These cells expressed CD20 in 98% (59/60), CD79a (usually faint) in 87% (27/31), CD30 in 7% (4/59), epithelial membrane antigen in 21% (12/56), bcl-2 in 5% (2/41), and bcl-6 in 83% (30/36) of cases. CD10 was negative in all 36 cases studied; 100% of cases (55/55) demonstrated CD3+ rosettes. Although CD57+ T cells were common within the background infiltrate, CD57+ rosettes were seen in only 48% of cases (15/31) and were rare when encountered. Based on these patterns, we conclude that bcl-2 and bcl-6 may be useful additions to the immunophenotypic analysis of NLPHL, but that the diagnostic usefulness of epithelial membrane antigen and CD57 rosettes may have been overemphasized in previous reports.

Key Words:
  • Nodular lymphocyte predominant Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Immunohistochemistry