What is lymphoblastic lymphoma?

Updated: Sep 10, 2019
  • Author: Joseph M Tuscano, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Lymphoblastic leukemias/lymphomas are neoplasms of precursor T cells and B cells or lymphoblasts. The term lymphoblastic lymphoma (LBL) is used to describe predominantly lymph node–based disease; however, because lymphoblastic lymphoma and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) are known to represent the same disease entity, the World Health Organization (WHO) classification has unified these entities as precursor B-cell and T-cell lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma. These entities are futher categorized based on morphologic, genetic, and immunophenotypic features. [1]

When the disease is restricted to primary nodal and extranodal sites with minimal involvement of bone marrow (< 20% lymphoblasts in marrow), a diagnosis of lymphoblastic lymphoma is made.  Conversely, a diagnosis of ALL requires at least 20% lymphoblasts in marrow. [2]

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