Lymphomas of the head and neck region: an update

Virchows Arch. 2019 Jun;474(6):649-665. doi: 10.1007/s00428-019-02543-7. Epub 2019 Feb 18.


The field of haematopathology is rapidly evolving and for the non-specialized pathologist receiving a specimen with the possibility of a lymphoid malignancy may be a daunting experience. The coincidence of the publication, in 2017, of the WHO monographies on head and neck and haematopoietic and lymphoid tumours prompted us to write this review. Although not substantially different from lymphomas elsewhere, lymphomas presenting in this region pose some specific problems and these are central to the review. In addition, differences in subtype frequency and morphological variations within the same entity are discussed. The difficulty in diagnosis related to some specimens led us to briefly mention common subtypes of systemic lymphomas presenting in the head and neck region.

Keywords: Classification; Head and neck; Lymphomas.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Interferon Regulatory Factors / metabolism
  • Lymphoma / diagnosis
  • Lymphoma / pathology*
  • Neoplasm Grading*
  • Plasma Cells / pathology
  • Salivary Glands / pathology*


  • Interferon Regulatory Factors
  • interferon regulatory factor-4