Diagnostic approaches and future directions in Burkitt lymphoma and high-grade B-cell lymphoma

Virchows Arch. 2023 Jan;482(1):193-205. doi: 10.1007/s00428-022-03404-6. Epub 2022 Sep 3.


Since the 2016 WHO update, progress has been made in understanding the biology of Burkitt lymphoma (BL) and the concept of high-grade B-cell lymphomas (HGBCL) that allows some degree of refinement. The summary presented here reviews in detail the discussions of the Clinical Advisory Committee and expands upon the newly published 2022 International Consensus Classification for lymphoid malignancies (Campo et al. Blood, 2022). BL remains the prototypic HGBCL and diagnostic criteria are largely unchanged. HGBCL with MYC and BCL2 and HGBCL with MYC and BCL6 rearrangements are now separated to reflect biologic and pathologic differences. HGBCL, NOS remains a diagnosis of exclusion that should be used only in rare cases. FISH strategies for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and HGBCL are discussed in detail for these diseases. Advances in integrative analysis of mutations, structural abnormalities, copy number, and gene expression signatures allow a more nuanced view of the heterogeneity of DLBCL, NOS as well as definitions of HGBCL and point to where the future may be headed for classification of these diseases.

Keywords: Burkitt; Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma; High-grade B-cell lymphoma; International Consensus Classification.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Burkitt Lymphoma* / diagnosis
  • Burkitt Lymphoma* / genetics
  • Burkitt Lymphoma* / pathology
  • Gene Rearrangement
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse* / diagnosis
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse* / genetics
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse* / pathology
  • Mutation
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2 / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc / genetics


  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc