How is a histologic diagnosis of pediatric non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) made?

Updated: Jun 14, 2018
  • Author: J Martin Johnston, MD; Chief Editor: Max J Coppes, MD, PhD, MBA  more...
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A histologic diagnosis must be obtained. Flow cytometric analysis of tumor cell markers has become the standard for lymphoma subtyping. [52] Cytogenetic analysis is sometimes helpful in equivocal cases.

For patients with an abdominal tumor, tissue is generally available from resection or intraoperative biopsy.

Patients with mediastinal disease frequently have enlarged supraclavicular or cervical nodes, which can enable diagnosis without thoracotomy.

As an alternative, a diagnosis may be made by using pleural/peritoneal fluid or involved bone marrow (especially if the CBC is abnormal and/or if imaging studies demonstrate abnormal signal intensity of the marrow). In rare cases, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) can be used.

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