Nodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin lymphoma (NLPHL) represents a diagnostic challenge on surgical excisional or incisional biopsy. Classification is further challenging on fine needle aspiration (FNA) material accompanied by needle core and/or cell block biopsy (FNA+core/CB).The authors studied all FNA+core/CB and surgical excisional or incisional biopsies to evaluate for lymphoma in patients who had a prior history of NLPHL or subsequent diagnosis of NLPHL over a 5-year period from 2012 through 2016.Patients who ultimately were diagnosed with NLPHL represented <0.5% of those who underwent FNA+core/CB for an initial suspicion of lymphoma. FNA+core/CB resulted in a definitive diagnosis in 7 of 13 cases, and surgical excisional or incisional biopsy specimens resulted in a definitive diagnosis in 13 of 13 cases (chi-square statistic, 9.6; P = .002). At initial diagnosis, FNA+core/CB was negative in 2 cases and atypical or suspicious in 3 cases; all 5 of those patients required surgical excisional or incisional biopsy for a definitive lymphoma diagnosis. By contrast, patients who underwent FNA+core/CB for recurrent lymphoma required surgical excisional or incisional biopsy in only 1 of 8 cases (chi-square statistic, 9.5; P = .002). Flow cytometry was positive for a light-chain-restricted B-cell population in only 1 of 11 biopsies that were involved by lymphoma.Surgical excisional or incisional biopsy remains the gold standard for NLPHL diagnosis and for distinguishing progression to a T-cell/histiocyte-rich large B-cell lymphoma pattern. At a tertiary cancer center with routine collaborative diagnosis of lymphoma on FNA+core/CB by cytopathologists and hematopathologists, FNA+core/CB performs well to assess for recurrent or transformed NLPHL, rarely requiring subsequent surgical excisional or incisional biopsy. FNA+core/CB has limited sensitivity in the initial diagnosis setting.
View details for DOI 10.1002/cncy.22286
View details for PubMedID 32343479