What is the WHO classification of follicular lymphoma (FL)?

Updated: Feb 25, 2021
  • Author: Sanjay Vinjamaram, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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In 2001, the WHO classification called for grading of follicular lymphoma (FL) from grades 1-3 based on the number of centroblasts per high-power field (hpf). However, the 2008 update consolidated cases with few centroblasts as FL grade 1-2 (low grade) and divided FL grade 3 into 3A (presence) and 3B (absence) of centrocytes. National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) 2015 guidelines suggest that grade 3B should be treated as diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), whereas 3A can be treated as either FL or DLBCL. [66, 71]

Prior to 2008, primary cutaneous follicle center lymphoma (PCFCL) was classified as a variant of FL. In the 2008 update, its classification was changed to that of a distinct entity. PCFCL may contain a high proportion of large B cells, including large centrocytes and centroblasts. Dissemination beyond the skin is rare.

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