Geographic Variability of Nodular Lymphocyte-Predominant Hodgkin Lymphoma: A Clinicopathologic Reappraisal in the Modern Era

Document Type



Pathology (East Africa)


Objectives: Nodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin lymphoma (NLPHL) differs from classic Hodgkin lymphoma (CHL) in terms of clinicopathologic features, including Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) association. CHL geographic variability is well known, with higher frequencies of mixed-cellularity subtype and EBV positivity in low/middle-income countries (LMICs), but there are few well-characterized series of NLPHL from LMICs.

Methods: We detail clinicopathologic findings of 21 NLPHL cases received in consultation from Kenya and summarize reports of NLPHL with EBV testing published since 2000.

Results:  Median age of consultation cases was 36 years, and male/female ratio was 3.2. All cases involved peripheral lymph nodes and showed at least some B-cell–rich nodular immunoarchitecture, with prominent extranodular lymphocyte-predominant (LP) cells and T-cell–rich variant patterns most commonly seen. LP cells expressed pan–B-cell markers, including strong OCT2; lacked CD30 and CD15 expression in most cases; and were in a background of expanded/disrupted follicular dendritic cell meshworks and increased T-follicular helper cells. LP cells were EBV negative in 18 cases. Historical cases showed a low rate of EBV positivity with no significant difference between LMICs and high-income countries.

Conclusions: Unlike CHL, NLPHL shows few geographic differences in terms of clinicopathologic features and EBV association. These findings have implications for diagnosis, prognostication, and treatment of patients with NLPHL in LMICs.

Publication (Name of Journal)

American Journal of Clinical Pathology