Lymphomas of the mediastinum

Claire M. Payne, Thomas M. Grogan, Catherine M. Spier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this clinicopathologic overview is to describe the types of lymphomas that present in the mediastinum. A comparison of the frequency of the different subtypes of lymphoma that are found in children and adults is provided. In general, immunohistochemistry and immunophenotyping studies are essential to the laboratory workup of neoplasms presenting in the mediastinum. An assessment of proliferative index in lymphoma is most helpful to determine tumor aggressiveness and patient prognosis. Electron microscopy is most helpful in the differential diagnosis of mediastinal neoplasms, where lymphomas may be distinguished from nonlymphomatous neoplasms using key ultrastructural features. The role of electron microscopy in the subclassification of lymphomas is mostly academic, with a few exceptions. The varied ultrastructural appearance of Hodgkin's cells and of different subtypes of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is illustrated, using cases from our patient files. An ultrastructural study of lacunar cells in Hodgkin's disease provides evidence that the formation of lacunae may have a structural and/or physiologic basis. Mummified cells showing some of the features of a physiologic form of cell death, called apoptosis, are also described.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)439-474
Number of pages36
JournalUltrastructural Pathology
Issue number4-5
StatePublished - 1991


  • Hodgkin's disease
  • Lymphoma
  • Mediastinum
  • Ultrastructure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Structural Biology


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