Small cell lymphomas

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The small cell lymphomas are a collection of commonly seen lymphomas that have a near-identical histomorphologic appearance.

The group includes:

  1. Small lymphocytic lymphoma/chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
  2. Follicular lymphoma.
  3. Mantle cell lymphoma.
  4. Marginal zone lymphoma (includes MALT lymphoma).
  5. Hairy cell leukemia.
  6. Immunoproliferative small intestinal disease (IPSID).[1]

Table of B-cell lymphoma

Small cell lymphomas:

Name Location Size of cells IHC Translocations Clinical Other
Follicular lymphoma Follicle Small, centrocytes, centroblasts CD10+, BCL6+[2] t(14;18)(q32;q21) IGH/BCL2[3] may transform into DLBCL very common
Mantle cell lymphoma mantle zone small CD5+, CD23-, CD43+, cyclin D1+[2] t(11;14)(q13;q32) BCL1/IGH[4] (also IGH/BCL1[5]) aggressive, poor prognosis[6] DDx: Castleman disease
Marginal zone lymphoma (includes MALT) marginal zone, spleen, GI tract small CD21+, CD11c+, CD5-, CD23-[2] t(11;18)(q21;q21) / API2‐MALT1, t(14;18)(q32;q21) / IGH‐MALT1, t(1;14)(p22;q32) / IGH‐BCL10[7] classical GI lymphoma subtypes: extranodal marginal zone lymphoma (AKA MALT lymphoma), SMZL, nodal marginal zone lymphoma
Precursor B cell lymphoblastic lymphoma/leukemia location ? small CD10+, CD5-, TdT+, CD99+[2] t(9;22), others good prognosis (?) other ?
B cell small lymphocytic lymphoma /
chronic lymphocytic leukemia
location ? small CD5+, CD23+, CD43+, cyclin D1- trisomy 12; deletions of 11q, 13q, 17p[8] good prognosis / indolent course other ?

Common medium and large cell lymphomas:

Name Location Size of cells IHC Translocations Clinical Other
Burkitt's lymphoma follicle large cells CD10, BCL6 t(8;14) (q24;q32) rapid growth "starry sky"
Diffuse large B cell lymphoma follicle (?) large 4-5X of lymphocyte MIB1 >40% none/like follicular l. poor prognosis common among lymphomas

Follicular lymphoma

  • Abbreviated FL.

Mantle cell lymphoma

  • Abbreviated MCL.

Marginal zone lymphoma


  1. Extranodal marginal zone lymphoma.
    • If in mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue known as a MALT lymphoma, AKA MALToma.
  2. Splenic marginal zone lymphoma (SMZL).
  3. Nodal marginal zone lymphoma (NMZL).

Hairy cell leukemia

See Hairy cell leukemia

B cell small lymphocytic lymphoma/chronic lymphocytic leukemia

Precursor B-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma/leukemia


  • Good prognosis.
  • Paediatric - usu. <6 years old.



  • High mitotic rate.
  • "Starry sky" pattern.
  • Small nucleoli.



  • CD10 +ve, TdT +ve, CD99 +ve.
  • CD5 -ve.


Subclassification based on molecular abnormalities (translocations, rearrangements):[10]

  • t(9;22) / BCR-ABL.
  • t(1;19) / E2A-PBX1.
  • t(12;21) / ETV-CBFalpha.
  • MLL rearrangement.

Precursor T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma/leukemia


  • Prognosis poor. (???)



  • Small lymphoid cells. (???)



  • TdT +ve, CD34 +ve, CD99 +ve, CD1a +ve/-ve.
  • TIA1 -ve.

See also


  1. Al-Saleem T, Al-Mondhiry H (March 2005). "Immunoproliferative small intestinal disease (IPSID): a model for mature B-cell neoplasms". Blood 105 (6): 2274–80. doi:10.1182/blood-2004-07-2755. PMID 15542584.>
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Lester, Susan Carole (2005). Manual of Surgical Pathology (2nd ed.). Saunders. pp. 95. ISBN 978-0443066450.
  3. Yanai, S.; Nakamura, S.; Takeshita, M.; Fujita, K.; Hirahashi, M.; Kawasaki, K.; Kurahara, K.; Sakai, Y. et al. (Dec 2010). "Translocation t(14;18)/IGH-BCL2 in gastrointestinal follicular lymphoma: correlation with clinicopathologic features in 48 patients.". Cancer. doi:10.1002/cncr.25811. PMID 21192062.
  4. URL: Accessed on: 10 August 2010.
  5. URL: Accessed on: 26 May 2011.
  6. Hankin, RC.; Hunter, SV. (Dec 1999). "Mantle cell lymphoma.". Arch Pathol Lab Med 123 (12): 1182-8. doi:10.1043/0003-9985(1999)1231182:MCL2.0.CO;2. PMID 10583923.
  7. Bacon CM, Du MQ, Dogan A (April 2007). "Mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma: a practical guide for pathologists". J. Clin. Pathol. 60 (4): 361–72. doi:10.1136/jcp.2005.031146. PMC 2001121. PMID 16950858.
  8. Mitchell, Richard; Kumar, Vinay; Fausto, Nelson; Abbas, Abul K.; Aster, Jon (2011). Pocket Companion to Robbins & Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease (8th ed.). Elsevier Saunders. pp. 318. ISBN 978-1416054542.
  9. DG. 17 August 2010.
  10. Randolph TR (2004). "Advances in acute lymphoblastic leukemia". Clin Lab Sci 17 (4): 235–45. PMID 15559730.
  11. Lester, Susan Carole (2005). Manual of Surgical Pathology (2nd ed.). Saunders. pp. 97. ISBN 978-0443066450.