T-cell-rich B large-cell lymphoma simulating lymphocyte-rich Hodgkin's disease

Am J Surg Pathol. 1996 Feb;20(2):193-201. doi: 10.1097/00000478-199602000-00008.


Immunophenotypic analysis of 50 cases fulfilling the histologic criteria for mixed cellularity Hodgkin's disease disclosed nine cases with a B-cell, non-Hodgkin's phenotype (CD20+, CD15-, CD30-, EMA-). The cases were characterized by a diffuse small lymphocytic milieu, interspersed atypical large cells including classic Reed-Sternberg cells, and infrequent plasma cells, eosinophils, and L&H cells. The male:female ratio was 7:2 (aged 22-65 years, median 39 years). Three patients were Ann Arbor stage II, two stage III, and four stage IV. The patients presented with generalized lymphadenopathy (four), mesenteric lymph node involvement (two), splenomegaly (four), and bone marrow involvement (three). Four patients were treated with standard Hodgkin's disease protocols. Two attained a complete response and two a partial response; all relapsed and died. Four of five patients treated for large-cell lymphoma achieved a complete response and are currently alive without evidence of disease. The one patient with an initial partial response relapsed and died. We conclude that immunophenotypic analysis is essential in cases of histologic mixed cellularity Hodgkin's disease, especially in those with lymphocyte-rich morphology. Cases with a B-cell phenotype should be diagnosed and treated as T-cell-rich B large-cell lymphoma.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antigens, CD / analysis
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA Primers / chemistry
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Gene Rearrangement, B-Lymphocyte, Heavy Chain / immunology
  • Gene Rearrangement, B-Lymphocyte, Light Chain / immunology
  • Hodgkin Disease / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell / chemistry
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell / diagnosis*
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell / drug therapy
  • Lymphoma, B-Cell / immunology
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse / chemistry
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse / diagnosis*
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse / drug therapy
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse / immunology
  • Male
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / analysis
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Restriction Mapping
  • T-Lymphocytes / pathology*


  • Antigens, CD
  • DNA Primers
  • Membrane Glycoproteins