What is the role of biopsy in the workup of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL)?

Updated: Feb 25, 2021
  • Author: Sanjay Vinjamaram, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Answer

A well-processed hematoxylin and eosin (H&E)–stained section of an excised lymph node is the mainstay of pathologic diagnosis. Excisional lymph node biopsy is required because lymphoma diagnosis relies heavily on careful assessment of altered nodal architecture accompanying lymphomatous infiltrates. Fine-needle aspiration (FNA) is insufficient for establishing a diagnosis; needle-core biopsies have a limited role in establishing a diagnosis of NHL.


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