Nodular lymphoid hyperplasia of the lung: A clinicopathologic study of 14 cases

Susan L. Abbondanzo, Walter Rush, Karen E. Bijwaard, Michael N. Koss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations


Nodular lymphoid hyperplasia is a controversial entity in which its existence in the lung has been doubted. The current opinion is that most, if not all, such cases represent extranodal marginal zone B-cell lymphomas masquerading as reactive lesions. We found 14 cases of nodular lymphoid hyperplasia in the files of the Pulmonary Department at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology from 1974 through 1998. All had clinical histories and hematoxylin-eosin slides. In 12 of 14 with paraffin blocks, we applied immunohistochemical antibodies for CD20, CD3, CD43, CD5, bcl-2, bcl-1, CD45RA, and kappa and lambda immunoglobulin light chains. Molecular genetic analysis was performed on paraffin sections in 10 of 14 by the polymerase chain reaction for rearrangements of the immunoglobulin heavy chain gene and the minor and major break-point regions of the chromosomal translocation t (14;18). There were eight women and six men ranging in age from 19 to 80 years (median, 65 yrs). Most lesions (71%) were incidental findings on routine chest x-rays. Most patients (64%) had a single lesion by chest x-ray whereas the remainder had two to three lesions, except for one patient who had 'multiple' lesions. There was associated regional lymphadenopathy in five of 14 cases (36%) which, on biopsy, proved to be reactive follicular hyperplasia. The only treatment was surgical excision. Of the seven patients with follow-up information from 8 months to 6 years (mean, 30 mos), none had clinical recurrence and no patient died of disease. The histology and immunophenotype of the lesions were strikingly similar, including abundant reactive germinal centers, intense interfollicular polyclonal plasmacytosis, and a variable degree of interfollicular fibrosis. No case showed a molecular rearrangement of the immunoglobulin heavy chain gene or the minor or major break-point region of the t (14; 18). We conclude that nodular lymphoid hyperplasia of the lung, although rare, does exist and deserves its place in the spectrum of reactive pulmonary lesions that ranges from follicular hyperplasia to diffuse hyperplasia of the bronchus-associated lymphoid tissue (lymphoid interstitial pneumonitis).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)587-597
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgical Pathology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2000


  • Bronchus-associated lymphoid tissue (BALT)
  • Extranodal marginal zone B-cell lymphoma
  • Lung
  • Nodular lymphoid hyperplasia
  • Pseudolymphoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Surgery
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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