Despite advances in immunohistochemistry and molecular biology, the distinction between classical Hodgkin's lymphoma and related diseases such as nodular lymphocyte-predominant Hodgkin's disease, T-cell rich large B-cell lymphoma or anaplastic large cell lymphoma has remained difficult in rare cases. Lack of clear-cut diagnostic criteria represents a problem for both the pathologist and the clinician.
To delineate this 'grey zone' between classical Hodgkin's lymphoma and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) and to develop criteria for classification of such cases, 12 expert hematopathologists each submitted one to five borderline cases to a workshop. Cases were reviewed and classified at a multiheaded microscope and criteria were established for the diagnosis of questionable cases. Well established entities such as classical Hodgkin's lymphoma? anaplastic large-cell lymphoma and TCRBCL were defined more strictly and cases with unusual morphology or antigen expression could be identified. A distinctive subset of cases representing mediastinal large B-cell lymphomas with features of Hodgkin's lymphoma was identified.