Pathologic Features of Nodular Lymphocyte Predominance Hodgkin's Disease in Extranodal Sites

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We describe the gross and histologic features of nodular lymphocyte predominance Hodgkin's disease (NLPHD) occurring in extranodal sites. Fifty-one specimens of NLPHD from 16 patients were studied. The sites of involvement were the spleen, liver, tonsil, salivary glands, skin, colon, soft tissue, and bone marrow, and the morphologic features were similar to those described in nodebased NLPHD, including characteristic lymphocytic and/or histiocytic (L & H) cells that were easily identified in a background of a nodular proliferation of small lymphocytes and histiocytes. In the spleen, the normal architecture was generally preserved, and the tumor was found predominantly in the white pulp; the red pulp was rarely involved. In the liver, the tumor involved both the portal and parenchymal areas. In the tonsil, the lympohproliferation closely resembled the typical appearance of NLPHD in a lymph node. In all specimens with materials available for immunohistochemical studies, there were demonstrable L & H cells with an immunophenotype similar to node-based NLPHD, that is, CD45-positive, CD20-positive, and CD15-negative. The unique morphologic and immunologic characteristics of NLPHD are preserved in extranodal sites and allow its distinction from classic Hodgkin's disease and other lymphoproliferative malignancies that may occur in extranodal sites.

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