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Ann Oncol. 2004 Apr;15(4):631-7.

Use of the WHO lymphoma classification in a population-based epidemiological study.

Author information

  • 1Department of Anatomical Pathology, St Vincent's Hospital, Sydney, NSW, Australia. jturner@stvincents.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) is pathologically diverse. Epidemiological investigations into its increasing incidence and aetiology require accurate subtype classification.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

Available pathology reports of 717 cases aged from 20 to 74 years in an Australian, population-based epidemiological study of NHL were reviewed by one anatomical pathologist to assign a World Health Organization (WHO) classification category. High or low confidence was assigned to the diagnosis of NHL, cell phenotype and WHO category and reasons given for low confidence.

RESULTS:

The most informative biopsy reports were from open tissue biopsy (79% of cases), tissue core biopsy (8%), cytology (4%) and bone marrow (9%); 8% of cases had inadequate biopsies for diagnostic purposes. Immunohistochemistry or flow cytometry reports were available for 96% of cases, gene rearrangement studies for 6% and cytogenetics for 3%. The reviewer assigned high confidence to the diagnosis of NHL in 93% of cases and also the phenotype in 88%. While a WHO classification could be assigned in 91% of cases, confidence was high in only 57.5%; insufficient immunophenotyping was the commonest reason for low confidence.

CONCLUSIONS:

Expert pathology review of a population-based sample of NHL can provide a WHO classification category for most cases. A high level of confidence in the classification, however, would require review of diagnostic material and additional phenotyping.

PMID:
15033672
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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