Follicular dendritic cell pattern in early lymphomas involving follicles

Antonino Carbone, Annunziata Gloghini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article reviews the most typical follicular dendritic cell (FDC) patterns displayed by early lymphomas involving follicles. In in situ follicular lymphoma, FDCs form a well-developed round (spherical) dendritic meshwork with a sharp outline. Other patterns that can be seen include contracted/distorted/ disintegrated FDC meshworks. In early mantle cell lymphoma with mantle zone pattern, FDCs compose an ill-outlined and loosely arranged " centrifugal" meshwork. In marginal zone lymphoma, the FDC meshwork forms a relatively well-developed nodular meshwork with irregular outlines. In nodular lymphocyte predominant (LP) Hodgkin lymphoma, LP tumor cells are localized within an environment with prominent FDC meshwork and rare or absent LP cells outside the nodules. In angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma (AITL), scattered regressed germinal centers are usually noted, although hyperplastic germinal centers are seen during the early stages of the disease (EAITL). Identifying the FDC meshwork, mainly in association with blood vessels, constitutes one of the most typical findings of the disease. In conclusion, the morphologic pattern of the FDC meshwork in early lymphomas of follicular origin is heterogenous and differs according to the lymphoma subtypes. These FDC patterns are recognizable in the most typical cases when the lymphoma is in its early stage and still maintains a follicular/nodular pattern of growth. The FDC patterns seen in the CD21 and CD23 stains contribute to the recognition of early stages of lymphomas involving follicles. Conversely, tumor cell immunostains for BCL2, cyclin D1, and other stains form the basis for the definition of lymphoma subtypes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)260-269
Number of pages10
JournalAdvances in Anatomic Pathology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • early lesion in lymphomas
  • FDC pattern
  • follicular dendritic cell
  • germinal center-derived lymphomas
  • lymphomas of follicular origin
  • mantle cell lymphoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Anatomy
  • Medicine(all)


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