Non-Hodgkin lymphoma

00:00 / 00:00



Non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Hematological system

Coagulation disorders


Vitamin K deficiency

Leukemoid reaction

Leukemoid reaction


Non-Hodgkin lymphoma


0 / 20 complete

USMLE® Step 1 questions

0 / 9 complete

High Yield Notes

7 pages


Non-Hodgkin lymphoma

of complete


USMLE® Step 1 style questions USMLE

of complete

A 46-year-old man comes to his physician for assessment of a pruritic rash for the past two months. The patient states he has tried calamine lotion and several emollients with minimal relief. He has not used any body washes or creams. The patient has a remote history of intravenous drug use but has not used in the past year. Vital signs are within normal limits. Examination reveals a scaly rash over the chest, back, and legs. A photograph of the rash is shown. A biopsy of one of these lesions exhibits clusters of abundant lymphocytic cells with cerebriform nuclei within the epidermis and dermis. Which of the following is the most likely diagnosis?  

Reproduce from: ">Wikimedia Commons  
Which of the following is the most likely diagnosis?  

External References

First Aid








B cells p. 411

non-Hodgkin lymphoma p. 436

HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) p. 172

non-Hodgkin lymphoma and p. 436

Hodgkin lymphoma

non-Hodgkin vs p. 436

Lymphocytes p. 411

non-Hodgkin lymphoma p. 437


non-Hodgkin p. 436, 437

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma p. 436, 437

associations p. 730

corticosteroids p. 118

Hashimoto thyroiditis and p. 347

hepatitis C p. 170

HIV-positive adults p. 174

Hodgkin lymphoma vs p. 436

oncogenes and p. 222

rituximab for p. 120, 450

vinca alkaloids for p. 449


Content Reviewers

The term non-Hodgkin lymphoma, sometimes called NHL, can be broken down. Lymph- refers to lymphocytes and oma- refers to a tumor.

Non-Hodgkin” refers to the absence of a key cell that’s seen in Hodgkin lymphoma, the Reed-Sternberg cell.

So, non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a tumor derived from lymphocytes - specifically B-cells and T-cells, which mainly live in the lymph nodes and move through the blood and lymphatic system.

Now, B-cell development begins in the bone marrow, which is a primary lymphoid organ. That’s where young precursor B-cells mature into naive B-cells.

The naive B cells then leave the bone marrow and circulate in the blood and eventually settle down in lymph nodes.

Humans have hundreds of lymph nodes, scattered throughout the body, and they’re considered secondary lymphoid organs.

Each lymph node has B-cells which group together in follicles in the cortex or outer part of the lymph node, along with T-cells in the paracortex just below the cortex.

B-cells differentiate into plasma cells, which are found in the medulla or center of the lymph node.

Plasma cells release antibodies or immunoglobulins.

Antibodies bind to pathogens like viruses and bacteria, to help destroy or remove them.

Various immune cells, including B-cells have surface proteins or markers that are called CD, short for cluster of differentiation, along with a number - like CD19 or CD21.

In fact, the combination of surface proteins that are on an immune cell works a bit like an ID card.

Now, a B cell is activated when it encounters an antigen that binds just perfectly to its surface immunoglobulin.


Non-Hodgkin lymphomas are a group of blood cancers that include any kind of lymphoma except Hodgkin's lymphomas. Hodgkin's lymphoma is characterized by the presence of a specific type of cell called a Reed-Sternberg cell. A lymphoma that lacks this specific cell, is a non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Non-Hodgkin lymphomas can originate from B cells or T cells, though they most commonly arise from B cells.

Symptoms of non-Hodgkin lymphomas include enlarged lymph nodes, fever, night sweats, weight loss, and fatigue. Other symptoms may include bone pain, chest pain, or itchiness. Some forms are slow growing while others are fast-growing. Treatment usually involves chemotherapy and radiation therapy, depending on the lymphoma subtype, aggressivity, and how far it has spread.


  1. "Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, Twentieth Edition (Vol.1 & Vol.2)" McGraw-Hill Education / Medical (2018)
  2. "CURRENT Medical Diagnosis and Treatment 2020" McGraw-Hill Education / Medical (2019)
  3. "Yen & Jaffe's Reproductive Endocrinology" Saunders W.B. (2018)
  4. "Bates' Guide to Physical Examination and History Taking" LWW (2016)
  5. "Robbins Basic Pathology" Elsevier (2017)
  6. "Familial predisposition and genetic risk factors for lymphoma" Blood (2015)
  7. "HIV-related lymphoma" HIV Therapy (2010)
  8. "Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma" Cancer in Adolescents and Young Adults (undefined)

Copyright © 2023 Elsevier, its licensors, and contributors. All rights are reserved, including those for text and data mining, AI training, and similar technologies.

Cookies are used by this site.

USMLE® is a joint program of the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) and the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME). COMLEX-USA® is a registered trademark of The National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners, Inc. NCLEX-RN® is a registered trademark of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Inc. Test names and other trademarks are the property of the respective trademark holders. None of the trademark holders are endorsed by nor affiliated with Osmosis or this website.