RECENT advances in the understanding of immunology have led to more precise classification of the non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (NHLs).1 However, this precision has left the internist faced with a bewildering variety of classification schemes that may have engendered as much confusion as clarification. In this review we have attempted to present the development of current nosology in a manner that will help incorporate recent classifications into daily use.
The early classification of lymphomas into giant-follicle lymphoma, lymphosarcoma, and reticulum cell sarcoma2 did not accurately describe the wide variation in histological and clinical manifestations of the lymphoproliferative diseases. Therefore, there was a need for a better scheme of classification.
CLASSIFICATION ACCORDING TO HISTOLOGY
A major advance in the classification of lymphomas was proposed by Rappaport and co-workers in 19561 (Table 1). This scheme divided NHLs based on the architectural characteristics of the lymph node and the cytological characteristics of the
Hait WN, Farber L, Cadman E. Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma for the Nononcologist. JAMA. 1985;253(10):1431-1435. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03350340083022