Classification and diagnostic evaluation of nodal T- and NK-cell lymphomas

Andrew L. Feldman, Camille Laurent, Marina Narbaitz, Shigeo Nakamura, Wing C. Chan, Laurence de Leval, Philippe Gaulard

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Nodal T- and NK-cell lymphomas are among the most frequent T-cell malignancies and most subtypes have aggressive clinical behavior. Evolving understanding of the biology and molecular characteristics of these lymphomas, as well as the development of new precision therapy approaches, underscores the importance of ongoing updates to the classification and diagnostic evaluation of this group of malignancies. Here, we discuss the classification of nodal T- and NK-cell lymphomas based on the 2022 International Consensus Classification of Mature Lymphoid Neoplasms (2022 ICC). Lymphomas of T-follicular helper cell origin are now grouped into a single entity, follicular helper T-cell lymphoma (TFH lymphoma), with three subtypes (angioimmunoblastic-type, follicular-type, and not otherwise specified), reflecting their common cellular origin and shared molecular and clinical characteristics. Classification of anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) remains essentially unchanged; DUSP22-rearranged cases are now considered a genetic subtype of ALK-negative ALCL. Primary nodal EBV-positive T-/NK-cell lymphoma is introduced as a new provisional entity; these cases were previously considered a variant of peripheral T-cell lymphoma, not otherwise specified (PTCL, NOS). PTCL, NOS remains a diagnosis of exclusion, with evolving molecular data indicating the presence of distinct subgroups, including PTCL-TBX21, PTCL-GATA3, and EBV-negative cytotoxic PTCLs. We also discuss diagnostic strategies to facilitate the 2022 ICC classification among nodal T- and NK-cell lymphomas and the distinction from nodal involvement by extranodal neoplasms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)265-279
Number of pages15
JournalVirchows Archiv
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023


  • 2022 ICC
  • Classification
  • Genetics
  • NK-cell lymphoma
  • T-cell lymphoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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