Nodular Lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin Lymphoma With Nodular Sclerosis: An Underrecognized Feature Associated With Pattern D

Siba El Hussein, Xiaoqiong Wang, Hong Fang, Fatima Zahra Jelloul, Wei Wang, Sanam Loghavi, Francisco Vega, Roberto N. Miranda, Tariq Muzzafar, John T. Manning, Joseph D. Khoury, W. Richard Burack, Andrew G. Evans, L. Jeffrey Medeiros

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin lymphoma (NLPHL) with unusual features, including some that can overlap morphologically with classic Hodgkin lymphoma (CHL), have been described. Herein, we describe 12 cases of NLPHL with fibrous bands and capsular fibrosis resembling, in part, nodular sclerosis (NS) CHL. Seven of 12 cases harbored Reed-Sternberg-like cells, further suggestive of CHL, but all cases lacked associated eosinophils and/or plasma cells in the background. In this cohort, all cases had areas of so-called pattern D (nodular T-cell rich) as a sole component in 7 (58%) cases or as a hybrid pattern along with pattern E (diffuse T-cell/histiocyte-rich) in 5 (42%) cases. The immunophenotype of the large neoplastic cells in these cases supported their being lymphocyte predominant cells of NLPHL, positive for CD20, CD79a, and OCT2, and negative for CD15 and CD30. However, PAX5 was weak in 9 of 11 cases similar to Hodgkin/Reed-Sternberg cells in CHL. We conclude that some cases of NLPHL are associated with fibrous bands and capsular fibrosis and resemble, in part, NS CHL. In our experience, NLPHL with NS-like features occurs in 10% to 15% of cases of NLPHL and is associated with a variant pattern (D and/or E). In addition, all patients in this cohort were not treated before biopsy, suggesting that the prominent sclerosis in these cases is inherent to disease biology. Recognition of NLPHL with NS-like features further expands the morphologic spectrum of NLPHL and helps avoid potential misdiagnosis as CHL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1291-1297
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgical Pathology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • classic Hodgkin lymphoma
  • immunophenotype
  • nodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin lymphoma
  • nodular sclerosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Surgery
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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