Discordant bone marrow involvement in non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Blood. 2016 Feb 25;127(8):965-70. doi: 10.1182/blood-2015-06-651968. Epub 2015 Dec 17.


A discordant lymphoma occurs where 2 distinct histologic subtypes coexist in at least 2 separate anatomic sites. Histologic discordance is most commonly observed between the bone marrow (BM) and lymph nodes (LNs), where typically aggressive lymphoma is found in a LN biopsy with indolent lymphoma in a BM biopsy. Although the diagnosis of discordance relied heavily on histopathology alone in the past, the availability of flow cytometry and molecular studies have aided the identification of this entity. The true prevalence and clinical ramifications of discordance remain controversial as available data are principally retrospective, and there is therefore little consensus to guide optimal management strategies. In this review, we examine the available literature on discordant lymphoma and its outcome, and discuss current therapeutic approaches. Future studies in discordant lymphoma should ideally focus on a large series of patients with adequate tissue samples and incorporate molecular analyses.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bone Marrow / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Lymph Nodes / pathology*
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / pathology*