Lymph nodes - not lymphoma
Neoplasms (not lymphoma)
Histiocytic sarcoma

Topic Completed: 1 June 2006

Minor changes: 29 April 2020

Copyright: (c) 2003-2018,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Histiocytic sarcoma[TI] lymph node

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Cite this page: DePond W. Histiocytic sarcoma. website. Accessed May 26th, 2020.
Definition / general
  • By definition, includes only cells of macrophage lineage, not dendritic or Langerhans cells
  • Rare (< 0.5% of non-Hodgkin lymphomas); many previously described "histiocytic" tumors were actually T cell or anaplastic large cell lymphomas
  • Usually age 30 or less but all ages
  • Very aggressive; 50% die of disease
  • Associated with B symptoms (fever, night sweats, 10% or more weight loss), lymphadenopathy hepatosplenomegaly, peripheral blood cytopenia
  • Diagnosis requires histopathologic evidence of neoplasm and confirmation of cell origin by special studies
Case reports
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Sinus expansion or nodal effacement with sparing of follicles by large cells with variable pleomorphism, abundant eosinophilic cytoplasm, irregular nuclei and prominent nucleoli
  • May have tumor giant cells, erythrophagocytosis or focal spindling
  • Necrosis, mitotic figures and inflammatory background
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on PathOut server:

True histiocytic lymphoma

True histiocytic lymphoma with prominent erythrophagocytosis

True histiocytic lymphoma - CD45RB and CD68

True histiocytic lymphoma - S100

Contributed by Drs. Charles J. Sailey, Borislav A. Alexiev
and John C. Papadimitriou, Maryland (USA):


Images hosted on other servers:

Sinuses distended by malignant histiocytes

Cells have vacuolated
cytoplasm, atypical nuclei,

Figs 3 - 5 (lymph node)

Various images

Positive stains
Negative stains
Electron microscopy description
  • Abundant surface activity, microfilaments, short segments of rough endoplasmic reticulum, scattered haloed granules
  • No Birbeck granules
Molecular / cytogenetics description
  • No immunoglobulin or T cell receptor rearrangement
Differential diagnosis
Additional references
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