Lymphomas of the Mediastinum and Their Differential Diagnosis

Semin Diagn Pathol. 2020 Jul;37(4):156-165. doi: 10.1053/j.semdp.2020.04.005. Epub 2020 May 15.


Lymphoma is the most common malignancy involving the mediastinum but can be challenging to diagnose on small biopsy specimens. This review provides a pattern-based approach to help triage small tissue samples for the diagnosis of mediastinal lymphoid proliferations, with focus on the main primary mediastinal lymphomas. The use of ancillary studies is highlighted, along with considerations to avoid misdiagnosis and scenarios to request additional tissue.

Keywords: Classic Hodgkin lymphoma; Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma; Lymphoblastic lymphoma; Mediastinum; Primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma; Thymoma.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma / diagnosis*
  • Lymphoma / pathology*
  • Mediastinal Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Mediastinal Neoplasms / pathology*